The Acanza Health Group received the top score in two zones and is now headed to Fayetteville.
The group was provided the option to either break ground in Fayetteville or Pine Bluff but ultimately chose Fayetteville.
“When we first met with the local officials they seemed very receptive to having us locate there,” Acanza Health Group Consultant, Michael Mayes, said. “We believe we can make the biggest difference with the location that we’re at.”
After receiving the official dispensary rankings in January, members of the group said they had a hard choice to make.
As they call Fayetteville home, the group is focused on tackling challenges that many in the Natural State face.
“Not only are we given the ability to create products and formulate them, but we’re also given an arsenal of products for individuals with pain or addiction issues,” Mayes said.
Mayes said it’s not just a dispensary, but also is looking to educate the community.
“It all starts with the physicians and their understanding of recommendations and such,” Mayes said. “At the heart of that, it’s really in the beginning, a real education piece for us so helping physicians understand the debilitating illnesses and understanding how cannabis and cannabinoid can affect patients.”
Local physicians like Dr. Tammy Tucker said despite other claims, certain procedures must be taken to get your hands on cannabis.
“Just like you wouldn’t go the pharmacy and get blood pressure medicine for your cholesterol, there are very specific cannabinoids in the plant that are used for very specific medicines,” Tucker said.
Both Mayes and Tucker hope bringing this alternative to the area will help end the opioid crisis.
“The people that do use it as medication use it as an alternative to all sorts of opioids, alcohol, or different kinds of drug abuse,” Tucker said. “So it’s absolutely a gateway but it’s a gateway out of those worse things.”
“The opioid crisis is really two-fold. Number one, it’s the pain management aspect of it and then secondly, getting off those opioids so not only would we be able to create products that help them with their pain management, but also products that continue on the pain path of withdrawal symptom reduction,” Mayes said.
According to Mayes, the Acanza Health Group hopes to be up and running by April.
The group will be located in the I-49 Business Center on McConnell Avenue.
Even though the dispensary won’t be open yet, 7,000 Arkansans have already started to receive their approved medical marijuana cards in the mail.