Arkansas judge considers effort to revamp medical cannabis licensing

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An Arkansas judge said Friday he’ll rule within five days on whether to allow the state to issue its first licenses for companies to grow medical marijuana.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen did not immediately rule on an unsuccessful applicant’s request to prevent the state from granting licenses to five companies.

The state’s Medical Marijuana Commission had planned to issue the licenses last Wednesday, but Griffen issued a temporary restraining order.

At issue is whether the scoring process was fair in ranking the top five cultivation applicants, who ended up receiving licenses.

Griffen heard testimony Friday from officials at Naturalis Health, which unsuccessfully applied for a license.

Naturalis wants an independent evaluator to rank the 95 license applications.

The judge also heard from the head of the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Administration and an attorney for the state Department of Finance and Administration.

Voters approved medical marijuana in 2016.

– Associated Press