On June 21 the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned the circuit court’s decision to halt the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission’s (MMC) award of marijuana cultivation licenses. At issue was the MMC process that resulted in awarding five top scoring applicants, out of 82, medical marijuana cultivation facility licenses. Each applicant paid a $100,000 licensing fee and posted a $500,000 performance bond.
Naturalis Health, one of the applicants, and ranking 38th, brought a complaint forward stating that “the MMC carried out the application process in a flawed, biased, and arbitrary and capricious manner, and that commissioners failed to uniformly apply their rules when scoring the applications,” according to the case filed in the Supreme Court, CV-18-356.
The circuit court agreed and declared the MMC’s licensing decisions null and void and enjoined the MMC from issuing the cultivation-facility licenses.
MMC appealed the decision and last month the Supreme Court held that the circuit court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedure Act. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Dan Kemp wrote, “I agree with the majority’s conclusion that we must reverse and dismiss this case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. I write separately to note the respective roles of the court and MMC.”
As of June 25, a total of 5,463 medical marijuana identification cards have been approved in Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. This represents .2 percent of the state’s population order their cards online. Cards will not be available for printing until one month prior to medical marijuana availability in Arkansas dispensaries.

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