Lawsuits challenge Arkansas’ medical cannabis licensing process

Some medical marijuana business license applicants in Arkansas have filed anonymous lawsuits charging that regulators wrongly rejected their applications and are seeking a temporary restraining order to force the state to keep their bids in the scoring pool.

Such a restraining order, if granted, would force the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission – the agency tasked with rejecting and approving applications – to “shut down” its work, a spokesman for the group told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The suits, which are currently under seal because of the anonymous filings, allege that the commission notified the plaintiffs 10 days after the application deadline that their paperwork was missing certain required documents such as proof of residency and therefore didn’t give the applicants time to submit the required documents.

The number of plaintiffs is unknown.

According to the newspaper, the commission has agreed to refund thousands of dollars in fees to applicants who were disqualified.

Records provided by the state Department of Finance and Administration – under which the Arkansas commission operates – show that “16 applications were flagged as inadequate for reasons similar to those described by the complaints,” the Democrat-Gazette reported.

The state received a total of 322 applications for both cultivation centers and dispensaries.

The commission said earlier this month it likely will have to delay the rollout of Arkansas’ medical marijuana program because of the time it will need to conduct FBI background checks on the applicants.

The state had expected to award business licenses by the end of the year and launch sales in March 2018.

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11 comments on “Lawsuits challenge Arkansas’ medical cannabis licensing process
  1. Smoke Signal on

    For heaven sakes , get on with this , while the rich argue to get richer , the people of this state with 1 or more of the 17 qualifying conditions suffer more and more each day. Most of us are tired of taking all the pills each day that’s killing our bodies. We want a safer form of medicine. Why can’t the state get some from Colorado or another state to sale at Dept of health until they get all this figured out. Voters have spoke and government had slowed this process down !!!! I blame you State. Winter is here and my pain from all the medical surgeries has me hurting so so bad. Remember this as each of you drag your feet that people are living with horrible conditions of pain and are simply wanting relief without taking handful of pills a day. Other states have already got there goings. Arkansas is simply dragging their feet. I say step it up or step down and let someone else do the JOB. Some people are dieing while you drag your feet. Keep that in mind

    • Hurting Daily on

      Amen!!! This is rediculous even for state government. Of course, if you thought a commission of appointees that were against this law getting passed to begin with were going do anything but road block this whole process, you’re nuts.

      I agree, if you’re not going to do your job, get out of the way and let someone in that will!

      • Robert on

        That would be mainly because our elected officials, French Hill, John Boozman, Tim Cotten and Rapert are all against it. I’ve written letting them know that they had their vote on election day just like I did, therefore their “personal” opinion was irrelavant and they needed to do more to support the will of the voters. Contact them yourselves and remind them that voting is not only how we elect our representatives, but also how we get laws changed that we disagree with. To me it is an odd concept to make a plant illegal. Poison Ivy is a very dangerous plant, but congress is making no attempt to make it illegal because they would find the idea “humerous”. Contact your Reps. Let them know they had their vote and you had yours, because they work for us, or they will be looking for a new job when election day comes.

  2. Matthew on

    Your great great grandmother had this Herb in her spice cabinet, she’s had cancer every since they took it out! This procrastination is naive!

  3. Matthew on

    Just because the state has a dispute with those outside of the law, doesn’t mean laws should be obstructed by state government! Moving on now!

  4. Smoke Signal on

    By having medical marijuana it will take 28 pills away a day. I don’t know how this will work. But if it will be safer to liver then to take all them pills a day , well I’m willing to try. I just want to do the right thing. I don’t want to break any laws. I’m just hoping this will help. All this is set up for the rich to run to get richer. I just want them to understand that while they drag feet people of Arkansas are suffering. We had our hope up to have them mess it up to be mid of next year before we have something that other states already have up and running. Let’s get this program going. Award the places to grow and let them get going !!!!!!!!!

  5. Dennis Garland on

    All this could have been avoided if they had allowed the people who qualify to have been permitted to grow 3 or 4 plants for their personal use. The governments greed to get every tax dollar out of this law, prevented patients from having this option for the last year while they dither. Government is inept at everything they do and this is no different. The federal and local government will never be proficient at anything until they begin to operate as a business instead of a bureaucracy. They care nothing of the pain and suffering of the people.

    • Robert on

      I agree. I never wanted to see the plant “commercialized” the way it is. It’s just a plant, and if I so desire, I should be able to grow my own without breaking any law. Unfortunately to make progress we had to take what we could get. It was difficult enough to get the AG to approve any cannabis legislation on the ballot.

  6. Green leaf on

    Arkansas needs to hurry. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I want to start my medical marijuana even if I have to go black market

  7. Fred Rapp on

    The beuracracy. Oh did anyone really expect this to happen on this time line. Award licenses by the end of the year, and begin sales in March 2018. You still have to grow it, and unless your growing autoflowering plants three months won’t work inside that time line. Autos won’t work either. To achieve Colorado quality marijuana the flowers must be cured a minimum of two months, 3-5 is ideal, but thats dependent on the quality and/or strain. Ideally, again strain dependent, a plant should grow 6-8 months then cured for 3-5 months. The curing process eliminates the chloraphyll. Chloraphyll that is not eliminated affects potency both THC and CBD along with flavor and smell. So unless they were planning on importing, March 2019 would have been a better example. In Washington county last week a cultivation facility was denied a location in Lincoln. Thats really sad for a community that really needs the jobs. Only time will put to rest this prejudice against Cannabis. Once the older generation that grew up with the likes of “reefer madness”. Propaganda that potrayed cannabis as evil. They should have pointed their cameras at themselves during an all night drinking beinge. Our country faces an opiod epidemic that kills people daily. Truly sad when you consider cannabis is available, grown from the earth, and is unadulterated by chemicals. Greed, for the love of money yet not empathy for our fellow man. Our society is disentagrating underneath our vary feet when you can get opiods from your doctor/pharmacy and their is a liquor store on every other cornor. But you go to JAIL for a plant that all you have to do is pick, dry, cook with, make teas or yes even smoke.
    Register to vote. Stay informed on the legislators that are anti-cannabis. And lets vote them out. We must abide by their rules for now. Patience. And get out to vote.

  8. Green on

    at what point are we gonna acknowledge that “we the people” are being taken advantage of? WE voted. Now we are left with little answers, delayed decisions it’s insulting that the people WE elected me essentially trusted to be for lack of a better explanation; giving us the run around. It’s not about making Arkansans healthier again why is that in a negative light by the people we trusted with our state. Many of us could have moved now to get our natural alternatives but we have stuck it out in faith that our representatives would hear us and care. Where is our medication we are dying, we are having seizures, we have severe pain, we have extreme trama, we the people of Arkansas are commuting suicide, we are killing our livers, we NEED the people to not just hear us but FEEL us. Have some empathy, have some Compasion and more importantly take your damn noses out the air. Real lives are at stake not just your image.

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