Quiet anticipation lines the walkway to the front door of the Department of Finance and Administration Sunday night in Little Rock.
Doors were locked, offices empty, but in a few hours, last minute marijuana cultivation and dispensary applicants will come carrying lot a lot of paperwork to the Alcohol Beverage Control office.
“We really anticipate that Monday is going to be an extremely busy day. The application is not something you bring up in a notebook, it’s something you bring up on a dolly,” Scott Hardin with the Arkansas Dept. of Finance and Administration said.
Hardin said he’s watched the lines grow with applicants over the past couple weeks.
“Right now applications continue to pour in. If you asked a couple weeks ago, we were really, effectively at zero applications,” he said.
As of Friday afternoon, 52 applications for dispensaries had been submitted for 32 spots, and 19 applications for cultivation centers looking to be one of 5.
“There is fierce competition. And, you can sense it in the air as people bring these applications in. They’re definitely excited,” Hardin said.
Jeff Rasor, along with some partners are applying for both a cultivation and dispensary license. He says the pressure to get the lengthy application right is steep.
“So then we got a little nervous, right? Thinking Monday’s the day. And so you review it and let’s say in 600 pages you missed one thing. Well if you don’t get it back ’till Monday afternoon, it’s over.”
But it’s not over yet!
Once the Monday deadline passes, the names of applicants will be redacted from their paper work and the commission will decide strictly on application scores.
“It’s basically a test. It’s out of a 100 points. Whoever scores the best is going to get a license.”
A test with no curve, and the highest scorers break ground into Arkansas history.
Find out more here.