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FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — According to Arkansas state law, there can only be eight medical marijuana cultivation centers in the state at a time, and the latest one is coming to the River Valley.

River Valley Relief Cultivation in Fort Smith is scheduled to have its first harvest by the end of this year.

The facility got its license in July 2020 and started growing operations in July 2021.

For the management team at the cultivation center, made up mostly of Arkansas Natives, there is a common sense of enthusiasm ahead of the center’s opening.

“I’m super excited. This is the first female operated cultivation facility in the state, so that’s pretty exciting,” said Director of Operations Kristy Floyd. “We’re building a really great team. We’ve sort of already become a family in the short amount of time that we’ve been all together. So, that’s pretty amazing.”

“Super excited to have the opportunity to work in my home state,” said Director of Processing Ryan Kenaga. “I believe that the high quality products are needed in the state and we’re looking forward to providing them.”

The center is state-of-the-art and uses a special dehumidification system that reclaims moisture from the building and uses it for growing the plants. 

Floyd says this technology makes the facility’s water usage largely self-sustaining.