Arkansas Supreme Court Clears Way For Medical Marijuana Program's Launch

Jun 21, 2018

Arkansas Supreme Court Justices listen to state Solicitor General Lee Rudofsky during oral arguments in the case on June 7.
Credit courts.arkansas.gov

The Arkansas Supreme Court has cleared the way for the state to launch its medical marijuana program.

Justices on Thursday reversed and dismissed a judge's ruling that prevented officials from issuing the first licenses for businesses to grow the drug.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled in March that the state's process for awarding medical marijuana cultivation licenses was unconstitutional.

He said the process violated constitutional amendment that voters approved in 2016 that legalized marijuana for patients with certain conditions.

Griffen's order prevented the state's Medical Marijuana Commission from awarding the cultivation licenses to five businesses.

An unsuccessful applicant had sued the state over claims the process for awarding the licenses was flawed.

The Supreme Court ruled that Griffen did not have jurisdiction to halt the licenses.