On Thursday, Arkansas state officials finalized a deal with a Boston consulting firm to grade medical marijuana vendor applications.

The 32 dispensaries are expected to be licensed in the coming month, with sales to begin early in 2019.

Although it has been nearly two years since Arkansans voted to legalize medicinal marijuana, regulations and legal entanglements have prevented sales. The agreement with Public Consulting Group is an attempt to move the process forward.

Public Consulting Group now has 30 days to review 203 dispensary applications. The state’s Medical Marijuana Commission graded almost 100 cultivation licenses but opted to hire the consulting firm, citing time constraints.

Public Consulting Group will be paid $99,472 for the evaluations.

6,084 Arkansas patients and caregivers have already been authorized to purchase medicinal marijuana from these dispensaries, once they are open for business.


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