Arkansas

Wed
17
Oct

Concern about the lack of a doctor to score Arkansas marijuana dispensary applications

A company hired to grade Arkansas medical marijuana dispensary applications says it can deliver scores to the state by the end of next month. But at a meeting Tuesday, the chair of the state’s Medical Marijuana Commission voiced concerns that no physicians are part of the scoring team.

Thomas Aldridge, a manager with Public Consulting Group, spoke with commissioners about the process to help decide who should get the 32 licenses for dispensaries that will be spread throughout the state. About 200 entities have submitted applications.

Mon
01
Oct

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission wants AG's legal help

Arkansas' Medical Marijuana Commission wants the state attorney general's office to provide its legal advice instead of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.

The commission has received legal guidance from ABC attorneys since it was formed in 2016. But the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the commission's chairwoman, Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman, has asked Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office to provide legal counsel.

Several commission members have questioned the ABC staff's handling of medical marijuana cultivation license applications and raised concerns about communication between the commission and ABC staff.

Mon
02
Jul

Allegations of corruption abound in Arkansas cannabis licensing board

The road to medical marijuana in Arkansas has seen it's share of rough patches. And just when things looked like they were starting to turn around, allegations of corruption in the licensing selection process has started to come forward, writes Calvin Hughes.

Fri
22
Jun

Arkansas Supreme Court clears medical marijuana program blockade

In a major ruling for Arkansas’ medical marijuana program, the state’s Supreme Court threw out a ruling that effectively blocked Arkansas’ five approved cultivators from receiving licenses. Today’s Supreme Court decision should put an end to months of legal challenges from the losing applicants who argued the licensing process was unfair. And patients are hoping it means that Arkansas’ program can finally launch.

Wed
20
Jun

Scoring guides used by Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission members to rate pot growers varied

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission members used different scoring guides when ranking cannabis growing license applications earlier this year, and the scores that commissioners gave depended on which guide was used, according to information obtained from the commission.

The drug, legalized in 2016, remains unavailable in Arkansas. A circuit judge has barred the issuance of growing permits, finding fault in the commission's process for ranking marijuana cultivation applicants. That ruling has been appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Mon
30
Apr

Arkansas justices to expedite medical-marijuana case

The Arkansas Supreme Court has agreed to speed up its review of a ruling that has halted the issuance of the state’s first medical-marijuana growing licenses.

The high court set an expedited briefing schedule in an order on Wednesday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The final pleading is set to be submitted May 30.Arkansas appealed Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen’s order, which has also stopped the Medical Marijuana Commission’s review of more than 220 medical-marijuana dispensary applications.

Griffen had ruled in favor of the unsuccessful permit applicant Naturalis Health LLC, finding that the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission’s process for scoring the 98 cultivation-license applications was flawed and unconstitutional.

Fri
13
Apr

Arkansas pauses marijuana dispensary applications' review

Arkansas officials have halted their evaluation of applications to sell medical marijuana after a judge struck down the state’s licensing process for businesses that want to grow the drug.

A spokesman for the Department of Finance and Administration on Wednesday said the Medical Marijuana Commission’s review of dispensary applications has been put on hold in response to last month’s ruling regarding cultivation facilities.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled the state’s licensing process for the cultivation facilities violated a 2016 voter-approved amendment legalizing medical marijuana.

The state has appealed Griffen’s ruling to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Mon
02
Apr

Arkansas's medical marijuana legal battle continues

The medical marijuana legal hurdle has cultivation applicants joining in on the battle from both sides.

The process was halted after a circuit judge ruled the Medical Marijuana Commission didn't follow its own rules when scoring applications to grow marijuana.

On March 21, Judge Wendell Griffen ruled the cultivation scoring process wasn't done fairly, tossing out the states approval of five licenses.

At least nine companies who were denied a license filed court documents supporting Judge Griffen’s ruling.

Mon
26
Mar

'I consider it a miracle,' says mayor of struggling town that's being saved by the cannabis industry

When medical marijuana was legalized in Arkansas in 2016 cannabis growers were encouraged to establish themselves in small towns in need of an economic boost, writes Calvin Hughes.

For poor towns like Cotton Plant, the new legal cannabis farms have been a godsend.

Fri
16
Mar

Arkansas judge blocks regulators from granting medical marijuana cultivation licenses

The state's new MMJ program is being delayed after two companies that were denied licenses filed a lawsuit alleging unfair review practices.

Medical marijuana cultivators in Arkansas were ready to make moves and open their canna-businesses this week, but the process has now been put on hold by a local judge, delaying the rollout of the state's new MMJ program for the foreseeable future.

State regulators were planning to formally award the first five cannabis cultivation licenses, but two applicants who failed to make the cut filed a lawsuit alleging that the state's application review process was unfair.

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