Arkansas high court allows marijuana permit dispute to move forward

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

In a split decision, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that a would-be medical marijuana cultivator that sued the state over alleged unfair business licensing application treatment can proceed – despite objections from the state’s attorney general.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge had tried to get the Carpenter Farms lawsuit dismissed by arguing that the state couldn’t be sued under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, but the high court rejected that claim, the Arkansas Times reported.

In its lawsuit, Grady-based Carpenter Farms alleged that the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission broke state law by not adopting “model rules for ranking applications,” the Times reported, and therefore the cultivator’s constitutional rights were violated.

The lawsuit claims that while Carpenter Farms’ application was rejected for “deficiencies” in its paperwork, other applicants with similar issues remained in consideration for business licenses.