Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has appealed the decision by Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen to declare the state’s medical cannabis cultivation licenses “null and void,” KASU reports. The case will be heard by the state Supreme Court, although it’s unclear when the body will hear the case.
In the ruling, Griffen said the state disregarded the licensing rules, finding that the state Medical Marijuana Commission failed to verify the cultivation sites’ distances from schools, churches, and daycares, and whether individuals listed on the applications were ever affiliated with “entities whose corporate status has been revoked for failure to pay franchise taxes.” The judge also found that two members of the commission had a financial relationship with two people with ownership stakes in the cultivation centers.
The suit against the state was brought by Naturalis Health, which was one of the applicants rejected by the Medical Marijuana Commission. In the appeal, Rutledge includes the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, and the commission as defendants.
In his decision, Griffen wrote that he “takes no joy” in blocking the issuance of the licenses.
“The prospect that Arkansans must now endure more delay before gaining much needed access to locally grown medical marijuana should be unpleasant to anyone concerned about providing relief to people who suffer from serious illnesses.” – Griffen, in his opinion, via the Associated Press
The board had approved five cultivators out of a total of 95 applicants. More than 4,100 Arkansas have already applied to qualify for the program.