Annexation of Spring River Dispensary explained; Fulton County to retain medical marijuana dispensary

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Construction of the Spring River Dispensary began in September and will soon be opening. The facility is located on Hwy. 63, just north of Hardy, which has requested the business be annexed into the city.
Kim Break

A news article was recently shared on social media which caused quite the stir amongst Fulton County residents. The article was in regards to an annexation of a new business opening soon in Fulton County, but near the City of Hardy.

Spring River Dispensary, the first medical marijuana dispensary in the tri-county area, will soon be opening for business. It is located on Hwy. 63, just a few hundred feet from Hardy city limits, which is primarily a Sharp County city, however; the property where the dispensary was built is in Fulton County.

Fulton County Judge Gary Clayton stated he received a request from the City of Hardy several weeks ago requesting the Spring River Dispensary be annexed into the City of Hardy. The new business, like any other business, will generate sales tax for the county and city in which it is located. “There is nothing there that should concern anyone in Fulton County. We are not giving anything away or giving up any money,” said Judge Clayton.

“As far as I can tell, there is no downside to annexing the business with the city of Hardy. Fulton County will still get the generated sales tax, in addition to property taxes because it is located in Fulton County,” said Judge Clayton. He also said as part of the annexation, Hardy will assume roles when it comes to police and fire services, making the situation easier for Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. “It (the dispensary) is somewhat removed from the center of things, and it would take someone a long time to get from over here to there, if there was a problem. But if Hardy annexes it, they will assume fire and police services. It would make it easier on the sheriff’s department.” Of course if the need arises for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office to respond, law enforcement will be available.

The annexation takes nothing away, financially or otherwise, from Fulton County. Although the City of Hardy didn’t disclose their motivation for requesting the annexation, the city will also benefit from sales tax revenue. “The county lines do not change, it is still in Fulton County and we will draw sales and property tax,” said Clayton.

Although no interest has been shown in changing the business’ official county, changing county lines is a very lengthy and difficult process. “There is no way to change the county line, unless you go through a process with the state legislature. No one has indicated any interest in that,” added Clayton.

The Fulton County Judge said there are several cities in which they are “partially” located in Fulton County. “Right now, we’ve got part of Ash Flat in Fulton County, part of Horseshoe Bend is, part of Hardy already is and part of Cherokee Village is. There is no problem with the city crossing county lines, but it doesn’t change any tax structure as far as the county is concerned,” he explained.

He also explained the annexation request process. “The City of Hardy came to me about six or eight weeks ago and said they were interested in annexing the [Spring River Dispensary] and they had a lot of paperwork done. We sent it to our attorney to look through, then it came back to me to be signed. It will then go back to the City of Hardy to vote on and do whatever they do.”

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