MP company applies for cannabis processing license

An application to operate a cannabis flower and oils processing facility in Mountain Pine is on the agenda of today’s Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission meeting.

Morfe Hemp LLC would be located in the Pines Industrial Park, the 400-acre site the company acquired from Weyerhaeuser in 2017, according to a copy of the application the commission provided in response to a records request.

The park is home to WinChoice USA, the window company Morfe principals Morgan Wiles and Shaun Keefe moved to Mountain Pine in 2018.

Processors buy marijuana flower and oil from the handful of cultivators the commission has licensed to grow the drug. They convert the materials into consumer goods such as candy, beverages, cookies and other items sold at the more than three dozen locations licensed to sell cannabis products in Arkansas.

Morph Cannabis Co., the business name of the proposed facility, said its products will offer a pain management alternative for the more than 90,000 people with active medical marijuana cards.

“Morph Cannabis Co.’s vision is to fight the opioid epidemic by providing a means for qualifying patients to access safe and affordable medical marijuana,” the company said in its operations plan. “When qualifying patients avoid using opioids, it eliminates the risk that their use might progress to dependence or overdose.”

The business would start with 10 employees. Wiles said last month operations could begin as early as this summer.

Morfe Hemp is the only company the Arkansas Department of Agriculture has licensed to grow industrial hemp in Garland County.

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized states to license and regulate the cultivation of hemp, a species of the marijuana plant, containing 0.3% or less THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Wiles said industrial hemp has many applications, including as a building material. WinChoice plans to use hemp resin as a reinforcement material in its windows, replacing the soy resin used throughout the industry.

The hemp facility will also be located in the park.

The cannabis processing facility would be the second one the commission has licensed in Garland County. Last month it approved a license for High Speed Extracts LLC, a company led by former Mountain Valley Spring Water CEO Breck Speed. It will be located at 141 Hill Country Lane off Highway 7 north, according to the application.

Speed said the business will have six employees and hopes to begin operating later this spring.

Rules governing processor operations require the facilities to be “low profile” and not attract attention from the public. Noise, odors, light pollution or glare should not be perceptible from the outside.

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