Arkansas court considering medical marijuana license case

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Supreme Court is hearing arguments over a judge’s decision to prevent the state from issuing its first licenses for companies to grow medical marijuana.

Justices planned to hear oral arguments Thursday morning in the state’s appeal of the preliminary injunction that prevents the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission from awarding cultivation licenses. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen in March ruled that the process for awarding the licenses violated a state constitutional amendment voters approved in 2016 legalizing marijuana for patients with certain conditions.

The commission has also put its review of dispensary applications on hold in response to the ruling.

Griffen ruled in favour of an unsuccessful applicant for a cultivation license that had challenged the commission’s decision to issue permits to five businesses.

Andrew Demillo, The Associated Press

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