Arkansas Judge Places Temporary Halt On Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licenses

There is a temporary freeze on new cannabis dispensary licenses in Arkansas after a judge there barred the state’s medical marijuana commission from issuing any more.

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen issued the ruling Tuesday, granting a temporary restraining order over a dispensary operator’s lawsuit against the commission. Medicanna, a company based in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, sued the medical marijuana commission, saying it was passed over for a dispensary license that was instead issued to a different company in Pine Bluff that actually received a lower application score. 

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported that the decision was made “because Medicanna had received a partial refund of its application fee, which the commission determined meant that its application was withdrawn from license consideration.” According to the newspaper, Griffen said the company had shown a “substantial likelihood” that the decision came in violation of the Arkansas Administrative Procedures Act. The two sides will reconvene on March 3 for a hearing.

Delays Put Crimp in Medical Cannabis

Arkansas voters approved a measure legalizing medical marijuana in 2016, but the program’s rollout was beset by a number of delays. State officials announced last year that it had finally awarded 32 licenses for dispensaries. Those dispensaries

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