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Newport receives $2.5 million, property in medical cannabis dispute

The Newport Economic Development Commission (NEDC) was awarded $2.518 million through mediation related to two separate lawsuits filed after the relocation of a medical cannabis cultivator previously located in Newport.

In November of 2020, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission approved a transfer of Natural State Wellness’s license to Good Day Farms and then approved the transfer of location to Pine Bluff, Jon Chadwell, executive director of the Newport Economic Development Commission, told Talk Business & Politics.

NEDC will receive the land it sold under market value to Natural State along with the building at the location, Chadwell said. The land and building have an assessed value of about $1.475 million, and NEDC will receive $1 million in restitution costs, along with all attorney and court filing fees.

That restitution includes staff hours used to develop the project, utilities that were connected to the building free of charge, and other associated costs. Chadwell said there was a lot of work put into securing easements from private property owners to allow for the project to move forward, and it was disappointing that despite all the efforts, not one job was created in Newport.

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