VAN BUREN, Ark. (KFSM) — The first medical marijuana patient in Arkansas has been served by Doctors Orders RX in Hot Springs.
The dispensary had a soft opening Friday (May 10) and was able to sell to a patient after fixing some software issues.
Some people from the River Valley and Northwest Arkansas say they plan on making the 3-hour drive to get the medicine.
Hundreds of people are expected to flock to hot springs next week after a second dispensary passed state inspection.
Dewayne Bowlin of Van Buren said a few years ago, while he was at work, he fell two and a half stories and had to be put on life support for three weeks.
“God gave me life again and I had about 20 different medications, all the way to morphine, I had a doctor tell me to get off and try the marijuana,” Bowlin said. “I couldn`t get out of bed. I got onto pot and it helped me.”
Bowlin claims to suffer from PTSD and seizures, and he says he’s waited two and a half years to get the medicine.
“It’s very important to me and I’m really worried about the people that are older than me and can’t get down there,” Bowlin said.
Dragan Vicentic, co-owner Green Springs Medical dispensary, says there will be limits.
“The thing that we’re worried about is that not every patient will get product,” Vicentic said. “So, we came up with a plan that we’re going to limit it to half-an ounce per person. And of course, there will be product next week. There will be a whole new harvest in.”
That half-ounce will cost roughly $200 after taxes and patients will have to pay in cash.
According to state law, a patient can only purchase up to 2.5 ounces every two weeks. A bio-tagging tracking system will help the state control how much is sold.
Bowlin says he will do whatever it takes to finally get medical marijuana.
“It changed my life,” Bowlin said. “I started walking. I can go to my kid’s games. I can go outside and play with my kids now. I’m a dad again. I’m part of my community again.”
No one is allowed to pick up a prescription for somebody else even if they are related or the patient is disabled.
Green Springs will open Monday (May 13). Its hours will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and will be closed on Sundays.
Doctors Orders RX is opening its facility Saturday between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Patients will be served on a first come, first serve basis because of high demand and limited supply.