City: if group gets state permission, it can grow medical marijuana

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 city council gave the OK to a group to build a medical marijuana cultivation facility, but only if they get state permission first.

Harrisburg Mayor Randy Mills said representatives from Southeastern Medical Solutions presented to the city council Tuesday night.

The group spoke about their wishes to build a medical marijuana cultivation facility in the city of Harrisburg.

Before they can build, the group must apply for a permit from the state of Arkansas.

If the state approves Southeastern Medical Solutions' permit application, Mills said the group plans to begin building in Harrisburg within 48 hours of the being licensed.

Mayor Mills said there was a discussion about supporting the project but most felt it would be a positive move for the city and gave their blessing.

That group has already found a location in the city to place the cultivation facility which Mills said fits the guidelines of being 3,000 feet away from churches and schools.

Mills said he is excited about this project even though he himself had his concerns initially.

"I was actually opposed to the legalization of medical marijuana in the state but after talking with these people and looking more into it, I understand this is a good thing for Harrisburg," said Mills.

Mills said this facility would bring 75 to 100 jobs to town as well as help with increasing the population.

"I want the people of Harrisburg to know that my focus is on the city of Harrisburg and growing this city," said Mills. "We have got to grow. We cannot stay a small city. In today's time, we have got to grow."

Mills says, more importantly, he wants residents to understand this operation will be highly regulated by the state and not something that would ward illegal activity.

"This is not just a couple of good ol boys out here growing weed and then sitting on the back of a tailgate and swapping hits on a joint," said Mills. "That is not what this is. This is a really professional business that will follow the rules and regulations of the state."

Applications for cultivation facilities and dispensaries can be submitted to the state starting June 30.

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