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Judge blocks Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission from issuing more dispensary licenses



Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission from issuing additional dispensary licenses.

The order comes after Medicanna, a company that unsuccessfully sought a dispensary license, filed suit against the state Feb. 13. The lawsuit argues that the commission didn’t follow its own rules when it issued a license to another dispensary, Nature’s Herbs and Wellness in Pine Bluff, on Feb. 3. The suit says that Medicanna scored higher than Nature’s Herbs and Wellness in the state’s evaluation of applicants.

Both had been on a list of companies that didn’t initially receive a dispensary license but remained eligible for 24 months if they did not request a refund of their application fee. The Department of Finance and Administration, which oversees the commission, says that Medicanna requested a partial refund of their application fee, which made them no longer eligible.

Nature’s Herbs and Wellness received the 33rd dispensary license in the state. Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin said Tuesday that the license will remain active because it was issued before Medicanna filed suit.

Hardin said the department and the Medical Marijuana Commission will comply with Griffen’s order. A hearing is set for March 3.

Only 18 of the licensed dispensaries in Arkansas have opened. The 19th dispensary, Herbology, plans to open Wednesday in Little Rock.

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