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Where does the industrial hemp/medical marijuana industry stand in Arkansas?

This article first appeared on deltafarmpress.com (David Bennett | Feb 21, 2018).

Businessman explains drive to bring new industry to the state

Approved by voters in the 2016 elections, medical marijuana is coming to Arkansas. Focus for many – pro and con – is the psychoactive side of the plant and products. But the industrial hemp side is also set to be farmed in the state.

Jason Martin is one of those at the forefront of bringing the medicinal and industrial businesses to Arkansas. Shortly before a Feb. 22 workshop aimed at education about the plant and industries being built around it, Martin spoke with Delta Farm Press about cannabis.

Among his comments:

How did you get involved with this?

“I grew up in Arkansas. All of our owners are Arkansans. Brian Madar and I founded the company.

“Back in 2011, I was in the franchise industry building brands across hotels, restaurants, service-based businesses – both from a Fortune 500 standpoint and also for someone at a mom-and-pop level wanting to go nationwide. That’s my background and corporate experience.

“Because our wives had been longtime best friends, we spent a lot of time together, vacationed together and had a lot of time to talk. So, in 2011, he and I decided to look into the cannabis industry. We wanted to do it in Arkansas as a main goal. That issue was on the ballot that year for medical marijuana and it failed.”

On what happened after the failed ballot measure…

“We decided to become even more familiar with the issues and started traveling several times a month around the country to find out about the cannabis industry. Early on, we found because we were registered citizens of Arkansas we weren’t able to own a lot of associated businesses in other states…

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