Suite 443 was the county's medical marijuana sales leader for an 18-month period, but the sales report the state revenue agency released Tuesday showed Green Springs Medical surpassed the Malvern Avenue location in February sales.
Green Springs, the only licensed dispensary in Hot Springs' incorporated area, reported 213.97 pounds in February sales, ranking fourth out of the 37 dispensaries operating in the state last month. Suite 443 reported sales of 205.36 pounds, ranking fifth statewide. Garland was the only county with two dispensaries in the top five for February and January sales.
The county's two dispensaries were the first to open, making the state's first legal sales of marijuana in May 2019. Green Springs was the state and county sales leader for more than a year. According to the sales report the Department of Finance and Administration released in early August 2020, Suite 443 outsold Green Springs for the first time during the 21-day reporting period that ended Aug. 4. It outranked its cross-county competitor in every subsequent sales report until the February report released Tuesday.
Green Springs owner Dragan Vicentic told The Sentinel-Record last year that three growers' refusal to sell him product contributed to Green Springs' declining market share. He filed a lawsuit that January that, in addition to the three growers, named the Medical Marijuana Commission, Alcoholic Beverage Control and the Department of Finance and Administration as defendants.
The lawsuit sought an injunction directing the commission to promulgate rules prohibiting growers from refusing to sell to dispensaries and damages from the three growers. The case was transferred from Garland County to Pulaski County circuit court in May. The court granted Vicentic's motion to dismiss the case in July.
Natural Relief Dispensary in Sherwood was the February sales leader, reporting sales of 387.85 pounds. The 760.67 pounds it's reported in sales during the first two months of 2022 ranked first, outpacing the 633.57 pounds the ReLeaf Center in Bentonville reported.
The 425.92 pounds Suite 443 reported in January and February sales ranked fourth, and the 414.93 pounds Green Springs reported ranked fifth. Crop Co. in Jonesboro ranked third, reporting sales of 453.55 pounds during the first two months of the year.
Sales are reported in pounds, as the Tax Procedure Act prohibits the state from releasing revenue figures from individual dispensaries. In aggregate, the 37 dispensaries operating last month reported $21.1 million in February sales.
State sales taxes levied on medical marijuana last month totaled $2.33 million. DFA said the industry has generated $62.5 million in state sales tax collections through last month. The state assesses a 6.5% sales tax and a 4% privilege tax on medical marijuana. Medical marijuana patients pay both taxes, but only the 4% tax is levied on sales from growers to dispensaries.
Good Day Farm's March 7 opening made it the 38th dispensary to open in the state. DFA said the Van Buren location will be included in the March sales report. The constitutional amendment approving marijuana for medicinal use voters approved in 2016 authorized the Medical Marijuana Commission to award 40 dispensary licenses.
The Arkansas Department of Health reported 82,410 active patient cards as of Saturday, a slight decrease from the 82,696 reported a month earlier.