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story.lead_photo.caption Concentrates are displayed for customers to view at Suite 443 Dispensary, 4897 Malvern Ave., in August. - Photo by Grace Brown of The Sentinel-Record

Medical marijuana sales from Sept. 10 through Monday fell 3.5% relative to the previous reporting period, according to the sales report the state revenue agency released Tuesday.

Daily sales during the 19-day period that ended Monday averaged $578,947 compared to $600,000 for the 20-day reporting period that ended Sept. 9. The 29 dispensaries in operation as of Monday reported $154 million in sales on 24,067 pounds sold since the state's first legal sale of the drug in May 2019. More than half the sales have occurred in the last four months.

The state constitutional amendment that legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes authorized the Medical Marijuana Commission to issue up to 40 dispensary licenses. The Department of Finance and Administration said 37 of the 40 licenses have been awarded.

Dispensaries reported $11 million in sales on 1,564 pounds sold during the 19-day period that ended Monday. Suite 443, where the first legal sale of the drug in Arkansas was made last year, reported 98.72 pounds in sales, ranking fifth statewide. The Malvern Avenue dispensary in unincorporated Garland County was third in sales during the 20-day reporting period that ended Sept. 9 and the 16-day period that ended Aug. 20.

It finished second during the 21-day period that ended Aug. 4 and fourth during the 19-day period that ended July 14.

Green Springs Medical, the only dispensary in Hot Springs' city limits, reported 61.07 pounds sold during the most recent reporting period, ranking 11th statewide. Green Springs ranked 11th during the 20-day period that ended Sept. 9, 12th during the 16-day period that ended Aug. 20, eighth during the 21-day period that ended Aug. 4 and third during the 19-day period that ended July 14.

Green Springs was the leader in average daily sales for more than a year, but its market share has contracted in recent months. CEO Dragan Vicentic has attributed the slower sales to an inability to source product, claiming that three of the four active cultivators have refused to supply Green Springs since he expressed concern about growers' capacity to meet demand at the Medical Marijuana Commission's June 16 meeting.

The medical marijuana amendment voters passed in 2016 authorized up to eight cultivators, but only four of the licensed growers are up and running. The commission awarded the three remaining cultivation licenses at the following meeting, including one for New Day Cultivation on Amity Road.

The ReLeaf Center in Bentonville was first in sales for the second-straight reporting period, logging 171.16 pounds for the 19-day period that ended Monday. Natural Relief in Sherwood ranked second, reporting 141.58 pounds in sales after finishing second during the 20-day period that ended Sept. 9.

Harvest in Conway and Acanza in Fayetteville finished third and fourth, reporting 109.19 and 107.93 pounds, respectively, in sales during the period that ended Monday.

The Tax Procedure Act prohibits the state from releasing revenue figures for individual dispensaries.

The state said today is the deadline to renew patient cards that expired during the grace period the Arkansas Department of Health instituted in the spring. Expired cards were honored during the grace period, but they will no longer be accepted as of today. Cards are active for one year after they've been issued.

"Patients do still have the option of a telehealth visit with a physician to confirm one of the qualifying conditions," the state said. "A trip to the physician's office is not required."

More than 80,000 patient cards have been issued.

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