Spurned medical cannabis applicant in Louisiana sues state

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, Spurned medical cannabis applicant in Louisiana sues state

A business that lost out on a medical marijuana dispensary license in New Orleans sued the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, charging that the agency was “arbitrary and capricious” in awarding the metro area permit to the fourth-ranked applicant.

In a lawsuit filed this week, RX Greenhouse of Metairie said it not only had been ranked No. 1 by the agency’s application review committee but also garnered the highest score in the state.

But the pharmacy board ignored that evidence and offered no explanation for its decision to award the license instead to H&W Drug Store, according to the lawsuit.

RX Greenhouse asked the court to overturn the agency’s decision and instead award the license to the Metairie company. The suit, which seeks an expedited hearing, was filed with the state’s 19th Judicial Court in East Baton Rouge.

Malcolm Broussard, executive director of the pharmacy board, told Marijuana Business Daily that his office can’t comment on pending litigation.

The New Orleans metro area, which includes Metairie, serves about 1 million people and is considered by many the top prize of the state’s MMJ market, which is expected to launch toward the end of this year.

The Louisiana Pharmacy Board awarded nine dispensary licenses statewide.

H&W has deep roots in the community. It first opened in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans in 1963 and is African-American owned.

RX Greenhouse is headed by Sajal Roy, who also operates an MMJ dispensary in Maryland. He is a former commissioner of the Maryland Board of Pharmacy and the National Boards of Pharmacy, according to the lawsuit.