(Seth Perlman, Associated Press file photo)

How will Arkansas’ medical marijuana business application process work?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission has finalized the process for accepting applications for medical marijuana growers and sellers.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported the five-member commission developed a more detailed application scoring method Tuesday.

The method breaks down 100 points that applicants can earn into sections. More than half the total points are in a section focused on operating marijuana facilities in compliance with laws and rules. Other sections included applicant qualifications, financial disclosure and an operations plan.

“We need to make it clear on the front end to the applicant exactly what’s expected of them,” Commissioner Stephen Carroll said.

Department of Finance and Administration attorney Joel DiPippa said a detailed scoring breakdown was necessary to avoid possible lawsuits over the distribution of the licenses.

Commissioners James Miller and Travis Story voted against the proposal. Story said commissioners should be able to weigh sections differently.

“I think ultimately lawsuits are probably inevitable at some point,” he said. “But having a way to score it that’s fair and brings all of the commissioners’ input is something that’s needed.”

The application period will open June 30 and go on for 90 days. The commission will distribute 32 dispensary licenses and five cultivation facility licenses.

Without knowing how many applications will be received, it’s unclear when the commission will finish scoring the applications, said Jake Bleed, a spokesman for the Department of Finance and Administration.

Arkansas is one of 29 states that now allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette