Arkansas Supreme Court Clears Medical Marijuana Program Blockade

In a serious ruling for Arkansas’ medical marijuana program, the state’s Supreme Court threw out a ruling that successfully blocked Arkansas’ 5 authorised cultivators from receiving licenses. Today’s Supreme Court determination ought to put an finish to months of authorized challenges from the dropping candidates who argued the licensing course of was unfair. And sufferers are hoping it signifies that Arkansas’ program can lastly launch.

Arkansas Supreme Court Dismisses a Prior Ruling That Found The State’s Application Process Unconstitutional

As lately as February, issues have been wanting up for the almost 5,500 registered medical marijuana sufferers in Arkansas. After almost 18 months of failing to license any cultivators, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission introduced it was rewarding 5 out of the almost 100 candidates permits to start out rising.

At the time, it appeared that medical hashish merchandise can be obtainable in accredited dispensaries as early as mid-summer. However, shortly after the profitable candidates have been introduced, dropping candidates launched a volley of authorized challenges towards Arkansas.

They argued that the fee had not reviewed purposes pretty or precisely. They additionally claimed that it had awarded licenses to growers with connections to the licensing board.

Challenges like these will not be unusual. But in Arkansas, they confronted harder odds. A previous Supreme Court ruling established a precedent for reaffirming the state’s constitutional precept of sovereign immunity. In brief, you possibly can’t sue Arkansas and its state businesses.

Courts threw out a number of appeals from rejected candidates. But one firm’s case ended up being heard in entrance of a county decide who discovered its arguments convincing.

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen presided over a case introduced towards the state’s marijuana fee by rejected applicant Naturalis Health LLC. Ultimately, Griffen dominated in favor of Naturalis Health, discovering a number of points of the appliance and evaluation course of unconstitutional.

The assessment course of “created the appearance of bias in violation of due process of law,” Griffen wrote in his choice. Those biases included favoring purposes who had preexisting relationships with the fee, which uncared for to analysis the tax histories of these candidates, or even when their amenities have been the required correct distance from faculties and church buildings.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission Can Now Issue Licenses To Growers

In his ruling, Griffen positioned an injunction towards the fee, stopping it from awarding licenses to the 5 permitted cultivators. Today’s Supreme Court ruling eliminated that impediment, clearing the best way for the state’s program to launch.

After Griffen’s ruling, Arkansas appealed, taking the case all the best way to the state Supreme Court. The Supreme Court fast-tracked the case, and commenced listening to arguments in early June.

It didn’t take lengthy for the Court to succeed in its choice, which vacated the injunction towards the Medical Marijuana Commission and dismissed Griffen’s ruling that the evaluate course of was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court discovered that Griffen merely didn’t have the jurisdiction, as a county decide, to halt the state’s medical marijuana program. That means Arkansas medical marijuana sufferers are nearer to their drugs than they’ve ever been.


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