By Andrew Demillo
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas judge on Wednesday struck down the state’s decision to issue its first licenses to grow medical marijuana, ruling that the process for awarding the permits and the rankings of applicants were unconstitutional.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen granted a preliminary injunction preventing the state Medical Marijuana Commission from awarding cultivation licenses. Griffen last week issued a restraining order preventing the state from awarding licenses to five companies.
Griffen ruled that the process for awarding the licenses violated a state constitutional amendment voters approved in 2016 legalizing marijuana for patients with certain conditions. He ruled the commission’s rankings of the 95 applicants for the cultivation licenses were null and void. Griffen sided with an unsuccessful applicant that had sued the state over claims the process for awarding the licenses was flawed.
In his ruling, Griffen said he “takes no joy” in blocking the state from issuing the licenses.
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