420 with CNW – Arkansas Selects Firm to Review Medical Cannabis License Applicants

Public Consulting Group, Inc. has been selected by the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission to score about 203 companies that have applied for licenses to operate medical marijuana dispensaries in the state.

The commission had reached out to 30 firms which they felt had the capacity to undertake the scoring exercise. However, only Public Consulting Group and ICF Inc. responded by submitting bids for the task.

Public Consulting Group was selected after it was found to have submitted the lowest bid of $99,472 compared to ICF’s bid of $361,514. Public Consulting Group’s figure surprised the commission since they didn’t expect it to be so low. However, the firm was selected since no red flags were found to suggest that it would be unable to do a good job.

The selection of Public Consulting Group comes with an added advantage of saving time since their bid would not be subject to legislative approval because that bid is just under the $100,000 threshold for which procurement approval must be obtained.

That bid therefore allows the commission to move fast in submitting the applications to the scoring firm. Public Consulting Group will have 30 days to submit its findings and will suffer a $5,000 penalty for each extra day that it takes without reporting back with its findings.

The Medical Marijuana Commission is under some pressure to complete the licensing process by the end of the year because two of its members are scheduled to retire at the end of 2018. Any delay in the preliminary steps can therefore leave the commission short of quorum and unable to make any decisions until replacements are screened and appointed.

It should be remembered that the decision to hire a third-party to score dispensary license applicants was made after the licensing process for marijuana cultivators earlier this year was dogged by numerous complaints.

The 5-member Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission had reviewed the applicants for cultivation licenses and had selected five companies out of the 83 applicants. The unsuccessful applicants complained that the commissioners were biased and didn’t make any attempts to verify some of the claims that were made by the firms which had applied for licenses to grow marijuana for medical purposes.

It was therefore decided that external help be procured when applications for dispensary licenses are being reviewed so that similar controversies are avoided. All eyes, including those of Global Payout, Inc. (OTC: GOHE) and Golden Developing Solutions, Inc. (OTC: DVLP), are now on Public Consulting Inc. to see how quickly they can push the process which will see patients finally getting access to medical cannabis after a long wait that began in 2016 when voters amended the constitution to decriminalize medical marijuana.

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