State medical marijuana regulators approved rule changes on Thursday that set the state on a path to issue the final two dispensary licenses by January.  

The rule changes, which need further approval from state officials, would allow the state to recognize expired applications that were submitted in 2017. The new rules would allow the Medical Marijuana Commission to issue the state’s two remaining licenses to the two dispensaries that are next in line to receive them based on previous scoring. 

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The rule changes must be approved by the governor’s office and the state legislature and a public comment period must be held. 

The commission hopes to have the process completed by the end of the year with “licenses out the door” in early January, commission spokesman Scott Hardin said. 

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Green Remedies Group in Garland County is next in line to receive a dispensary license in Zone 6. 

T&C Management in Texarkana is next in line to receive a dispensary license in Zone 8. 

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Dragan Vicentic, owner of Green Springs Medical dispensary in Hot Springs, spoke against the rule changes, saying that there is not a need for an additional dispensary in the area. There are currently two dispensaries in Hot

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