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.


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.


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.


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.


'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.


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.


Arkansas medical marijuana industry still has questions to be answered

The industry of Medical Marijuana is moving forward in the state of Arkansas, but questions about who will own and work in the facilities remains of interest.

One of those questions was answered this past week when the state Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission picked five businesses for marijuana cultivation centers. The commission had certain criteria it was looking for when granting the licenses.

The issue was brought up on this week's edition of Capitol View in which Medipays Chief Legal Officer Dan Roda explained that those with a felony record will be excluded from the industry entirely. 


Arkansas will start licensing medical marijuana growers this week

The state of Arkansas passed comprehensive medical cannabislegalization in 2016, after voters approved Amendment 98. 

Over the past year, the state has been rolling out its regulatory policy and reviewing applications from prospective growers and retailers. Already, the Arkansas Department of Health has approved 4,116 applications for patients with qualifying conditions.

With registered patients ready, Arkansas will start licensing medical marijuana growers this week. But unusual legal hurdles could pose challenges for the state’s young medical cannabis program.

Arkansas Will Start Licensing Medical Marijuana Growers This Week


Medical Marijuana training starts in Arkansas

People from across the natural state met in Fort Smith this weekend to learn how they can get involved in the state's budding medical marijuana industry.

The Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association hosted its first Dispensary Agent Training seminar.

Potential candidates learned what they need to know to cultivate or sell the drug legally.

The event also educated attendees about the health benefits of the drug.

"I did a lot of research myself", said Rick Pruden who attended the event. "I knew some of the bare bones. They're going over some of the information in a lot more detail.
I've gotten a lot more resources".

We're told nearly 500 tickets were sold. 

The group will host a similar training session in Little Rock this March.


VA in Arkansas won't prescribe, pay for medical marijuana

Although Arkansas voters have approved the sale of marijuana for medical purposes, doctors with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will not be allowed to recommend or prescribe the drug to veterans, and the V.A. will not pay for it.

As state officials work on plans to provide marijuana, the federal government considers it illegal.

Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System spokesman Chris Durney told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that doctors will talk with veterans about how the use of medical marijuana may affect their treatment plans.

Some veterans say marijuana helps a variety of illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder, and is an alternative to opioids.


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