Arkansas court extends restraining order halting marijuana dispensary licensing

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A circuit court judge in Arkansas extended a temporary restraining order that prevents state regulators from issuing its remaining two medical marijuana dispensary licenses.

A Pulaski County Circuit Court judge made the ruling, according to Arkansas Business, after a Black-owned company in Arkansas filed suit against state medical marijuana regulators and other officials in February.

Dispensary applicant Absolute Essence sued the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, the Department of Finance and Administration, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division and two license winners, alleging the company was discriminated against during the dispensary licensing process because of its owner’s race.

The suit called on regulators to halt the licensing process until flaws in the system were fixed.

The suit also requested a court order to force the commission to rescore dispensary applications.

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Arkansas state attorneys said two weeks later that the suit should be dismissed on the grounds that it was filed too late and that courts don’t have legal authority to overturn the licensing decision.

Regulators were scheduled to issue the remaining licenses this spring before the restraining order was extended.