Harvest to operate Natural State Wellness Dispensary in Little Rock on Stagecoach Road

Harvest to operate Natural State Wellness Dispensary in Little Rock on Stagecoach Road

Harvest Dispensaries, Cultivations & Production Facilities, LLC, the Tempe, Ariz., cannabis growing and dispensary company that will operate Natural State Wellness Enterprises’ cultivation facility, will also operate a dispensary in Little Rock “on behalf of Natural State Wellness Dispensary shareholders,” according to Ben Kimbro, director of public affairs for Harvest. It received the third highest dispensary score in Zone 5, which is in Central Arkansas. 

Henry Wilkins V (not to be confused with his father, former county judge and state Sen. Hank Wilkins IV, who pleaded guilty last year to federal bribery and conspiracy charges), owns a 51 percent stake in the dispensary. Other owners  include Leo Hauser, six percent; former state legislator and lobbyist Marvin Parks, 6 percent; David Dunn, 6 percent (Dunn is deceased); Melissa Moody, 6 percent; former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, 6 percent; Bart Calhoun of the McDaniel, Richardson & Calhoun law firm, 6 percent; Amy Haun Hall, 6 percent; Dr. Ladd Scriber, 6 percent; Warren Ross, 0.49 percent; and Steve White, 0.51 percent.

According to Kimbro, Harvest holds over 60 licenses in 12 different states, including licenses for cultivation, processing, dispensing and delivery. 

Natural State Wellness Dispensary will be located in a new facility to be built at 11201 Stagecoach Road in Little Rock. It will be the only dispensary in the city, and while Kimbro said there is no estimated timeline for an opening date, when it does open for business, the dispensary hopes to be open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Natural State Wellness Enterprises is also building a cultivation facility at 4001 Comet Drive in Newport and has begun hiring employees. Kimbro said Harvest will operate the cultivation facility on behalf of the company’s investors and expects it to begin production in June.  

Natural State Wellness Dispensary will receive its products from the Natural State Wellness Enterprises’ cultivation facility, and according to Kimbro, the dispensary will offer 120-125 different products in several different categories. 

“Whether that’s concentrates, or flower, or MIPs, which are marijuana-infused products, that kind of covers all of your edibles, vape pens… CBD products [and] anything related, whether THC dominant or CBD dominant or balanced or hybrid,” he said.

As to specific strains, Kimbro said Harvest analyzes “consumer patient trends” to decide what to offer, but it will have a “variety of indicasativa and hybrid” strains in a range of quality and prices. 

In addition to supplying its own dispensary, Kimbro said Harvest has spoken to other dispensary owners in Arkansas about their product sources. 

“It’s in its infancy, but we’re trying to figure out what their needs, wants and desires are for products on their available shelf space,” he said. “And we would, of course, not only sell to our dispensary in Little Rock, but would hope to provide products to 31 other dispensaries in the state.”

Kimbro added that Harvest’s experience in the cannabis industry will help differentiate it from other dispensaries in the state. 

“We certainly draw from a deep well of knowledge in terms of how we operate the retail and patient side of things,” he said. “We’ve been at it since 2011, so we’ve got some experience under our belt. A lot of the challenges in the cannabis industry, we’ve already negotiated and worked our way through, whereas others are going to face a bit of a learning curve.”

In January, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Natural State Wellness hadn’t disclosed in its cultivation permit application that Natural State Capital LLC, a management company of which Harvest owns 100 percent, was also an owner of Natural State Wellness. 

But Kimbro said Natural State Capital does not have an ownership stake, but instead has an operating stake. The stake was not included in the cultivation application because Harvest was told, “per the direction of Joel DiPippa at [the Department of Finance and Administration],” that it was not supposed to be disclosed. 

“We asked, I want to be very clear on that,” he said. “We asked DFA, do we need to [disclose Natural State Capital’s stake], and they said, no, we don’t. The Commission as a scoring body needs to be able to understand who the owners are, they don’t need to understand any other relationships between who’s gonna come in and operate and brand and run the day-to-day. It’s irrelevant to it. And I cannot overstate the fact that it does not change ownership.”

Originally published on ArkTimes.com.