BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — The ReLeaf Center in Bentonville opened its doors Wednesday (Aug. 7), becoming Northwest Arkansas's first dispensary.
The store allowed invited VIP customers to enter at 8 a.m. and everyone else at noon, but people started lining up before 7 a.m.
Scott Miller, a disabled veteran, was the very first customer.
"All I can say is it's finally here, and all the wait was worth it," said Miller.
The ReLeaf Center superintendent, Buddy Wayne, said that today was was the store's soft opening and that the grand opening ceremonies will be Friday.
"I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun. These people have waited a long time. They deserve to be taken care of and have great service and we’re going to provide that for them here," said Wayne.
Voters approved medical marijuana in Arkansas back in 2016 but few dispensaries have gone up in the state. Wayne says the process to open the ReLeaf Center wasn't easy.
“There were so many hoops, we thought we were Michael Jordan. I mean you would believe it, but we’re here and we’re open. Thank Heavens," said Wayne.
Many Arkansans have been frustrated with how long it's taken for this dispensary to open.
“It really does frustrate me, because it has taken so long. To me, it’s really ridiculous that it’s taken so long for this to become active in Northwest Arkansas," said one of the ReLeaf Center's VIP customers, Roy Eneks.
Miller said he was so excited for the ReLeaf Center to open that he couldn't even sleep.
“When I get to the VA today I’m gonna let everybody that I know and everybody that I see... I don’t even care if I don’t know them! I’m gonna probably let them know that this was a great thing that happened today," said Miller.
The store will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Customers must have a state-issued, registered patient or caregiver medical marijuana card and government-issued ID in order to legally purchase medical marijuana.