Jackson County Welcomes Economic Boost from Cultivation Facilities

NEWPORT, Ark. - Arkansas will soon be home to 5 marijuana cultivation facilities. Two of them in Jackson County. 

Frankie Combs has been grilling up burgers for nearly a decade.

"Come in for lunch, come in for supper, come in just to enjoy and relax," Combs said.  

She knows everyone, everyone knows her and everyone knows something new is cooking in their town.

"That's what we're trying to do is revitalize the economy of our community and grow our community," Jon Chadwell, Executive Director for the Newport Economic Development Commission said. 

Newport is home to about 8,000 people, and soon two marijuana cultivation facilities. 

"The jobs will be very well paying in comparison to some of the ones we have so I think people may take the advantage to improve their situation in life who already live here and then I think it will bring some folks in as well," Chadwell said.  

Originally Delta Medical Cannabis Company, Inc. was the only confirmed cultivation facility in Jackson County. 

As of Friday, Natural State Wellness Enterprises changed its location from Jefferson County, to Jackson.

Both companies will soon break ground at the cities Air Base Industrial Park. 

"Most people don't understand that the marijuana would be grown indoors and so these are going to look much like any other factory in our industrial park," Chadwell said.  

And by growing green, the delta economy hopes to earn green. 

"If you have good jobs then people tend to move into your community and that grows the community," Chadwell said.  

Agriculture is the current economic driver in the delta, but it's been pumping the breaks for some time.

"There's not a lot to choose from in a farming area so that really boosts this area up for that," Combs said.  

 Benefits Frankie can't wait to trickle down to her diner.

"The more populated we can get, the more businesses we can get, everybody will prosper," she said.  

No construction date has been released for these facilities, but The Newport Economic Development Commission understands it will be soon. 

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