Arkansas judge blocks state from licensing medical cannabis growers

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An Arkansas judge has temporarily blocked regulators from issuing licenses to five companies to grow medical marijuana in response to complaints about the state’s process for reviewing applications for the facilities.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen on Wednesday issued a temporary restraining order against the state, which had planned to formally issue cultivation licenses later in the day.

Griffen scheduled a hearing Friday on a request for a preliminary injunction against the state.

The judge issued the order in response to a lawsuit filed by Naturalis Health, a Little Rock company that was not among the top five applicants.

The state’s Medical Marijuana Commission last month chose the five companies it intended to award licenses for cultivation facilities.

All five firms paid the licensing fees and posted performance bonds by March 9.

– Associated Press