On Friday, May 10, 2019, Suite 443 in Hot Springs (then known as Doctor’s Orders) opened its doors as the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary.
It was the toke heard (well, taken) ’round the world, setting off an economic revolution in Arkansas that, at its two-year anniversary, has well outpaced projections. And, industry experts say, there’s no sign of slowing down as growers and retailers enter uncharted territory of demand.
“When we went into this, we did project that 40,000 to 50,000 patients would be a mature market,” says Scott Hardin, spokesman for the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. “Today, we’re at [76,500].”
Those 76,500 active patients are spending about $885,000 per day on medical marijuana, spread out over the state’s 32 operating licensed dispensaries, Hardin adds.
What’s more, the pace is quickening.
“That daily number, if we go back to late 2020, was hovering around $600,000. Which goes to show the growth in the industry just in a matter of a few months.”
Altogether, patients in the state have spent more than $303.5 million on medical marijuana since Suite 443 hung out its shingle, followed by 31 other dispensaries through January of this year. Six more licensed dispensaries have