Arkansas court battle over cannabis grow licenses heating up

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Arkansas’ attorney general is appealing a judge’s order that forbids the state to license five companies to grow medical marijuana.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office on Friday filed a notice that it’s appealing Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen’s ruling that the MMJ licensing process is unconstitutional to the state Supreme Court.

Griffen had ruled that the state’s process for licensing the companies violated the 2016 voter-approved amendment legalizing marijuana for patients with certain medical conditions.

The judge sided with an unsuccessful applicant that had sued the state over the process.

Griffen cited potential conflicts of interest by two members of the Medical Marijuana Commission and other problems with the licensing process.

The appeal could actually harm the state’s MMJ licensing process, an advocate told Marijuana Business Daily.

“Even if the Supreme Court overturns the judge’s order, there’s going to be some insecurity regarding the process,” Arkansas marijuana attorney David Couch said.

He had been pushing the attorney general not to appeal and instead suggested the commission have the applications reviewed by a third party.

– Associated Press