Judge cancels tweaks of Arkansas medical marijuana laws

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Twenty-seven changes made to Arkansas’ medical marijuana laws by the state Legislature are unconstitutional and, thus, “void,” an Arkansas judge ruled.

The state attorney general plans to appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court, Little Rock TV station THV-11 reported.

In the meantime, medical marijuana will still be sold by licensed dispensaries.

And any appeal outcome won’t change that in a state with 93,703 active cardholders as of June 17.

At issue is lawmakers’ ability to amend a voter-approved constitutional amendment.

In the time since Arkansas voters approved legalized MMJ sales in 2016, state legislators passed at least 27 laws that tweaked various aspects of the program.

Those included regulations around advertising, the amount of THC allowed in edibles and details around tax collection and how tax money is used.

But last week, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Morgan “Chip” Welch ruled that lawmakers can amend state MMJ laws, though “only by referring any such amendment to the people.”

He then voided all 27 laws, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

The judge’s ruling stemmed from a lawsuit brought by Good Day Farm Arkansas and Capital City Medicinal, two state-licensed cannabis companies.

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin said in a statement that he plans to appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court “expeditiously,” THV-11 reported.

Separately, some MMJ dispensaries in Arkansas experienced a “temporary” interruption in sales last Saturday and Sunday while the state’s “verification system was down.”

Officials blamed a “data entry error” for the disruption, Fayetteville TV station KFSM reported.

The issue was resolved Monday, officials told KFSM.