By Hannah Grabenstein
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ Medical Marijuana Commission has awarded licenses to 5 cultivation corporations after an injunction towards issuing the licenses was lifted Tuesday, July 10, 2018.
The injunction was issued in March by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen. He dominated that the award course of violated the state’s 2016 constitutional modification legalizing medical marijuana. The state Supreme Court reversed Griffen’s determination in June 2018, permitting the state to formally challenge the licenses.
The corporations that have been issued licenses are Natural State Medicinals Cultivation, Bold Team LLC, Natural State Wellness Enterprises, Osage Creek Cultivation, and Delta Medical Cannabis Co.
Licenses have been awarded after every firm paid a $100,000 license payment and a $500,000 efficiency bond.
Dustin McDaniel, an lawyer for and investor in Natural State Wellness Enterprises, stated the corporate is wanting ahead to starting cultivating as quickly as potential.
“The voters have made it clear that they want this medication made available to patients expeditiously and we will work diligently to do that,” McDaniel stated.
One potential roadblock is that there are presently no licensed dispensaries, and the method to award licenses could possibly be prolonged. The fee has acquired about 230 purposes for 32 dispensary licenses, and is contemplating hiring an unbiased marketing consultant to help reviewing them. On July 12, 2018, the fee was scheduled to assessment choices for hiring the marketing consultant, which can first require an emergency rule change.
The transfer to rent a advisor additionally was prompted by allegations of impropriety in the course of the cultivation course of. The ruling by Griffen that was overturned supported an unsuccessful cultivation applicant, who had claimed two committee members had conflicts of curiosity. And in early June, a letter from the Arkansas lawyer basic revealed that a member of the fee claimed an unsuccessful applicant tried to bribe him.
The fee can difficulty as much as eight cultivation licenses, stated Scott Hardin, spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. However, presently there are not any plans to problem further licenses.