Arkansas judge blocks state from licensing medical marijuana growers

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas judge has temporarily blocked the state from issuing licenses to five companies to grow medical marijuana in response to complaints about the state’s process for reviewing applications for the facilities.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday against the state, which had planned to formally issue cultivation licenses later that day. Griffen scheduled a hearing Friday on a request for a preliminary injunction against the state.

Griffen issued the order in response to a lawsuit filed by Naturalis Health, a Little Rock company that was not among the top five applicants.

The state’s Medical Marijuana Commission last month named the five companies it intended to award licenses for cultivation facilities. All five firms by Friday paid the licensing fees and posted performance bonds.

This story is developing and will be updated

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