Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Arkansas Dispensary License Issuing Stoppage Lifted

By Eric Volkman - Mar 4, 2020 at 5:13PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The dismissal of a lawsuit by a disgruntled marijuana company effectively rescinds the ban.

Barely one week after Arkansas' medical marijuana dispensary licensing machinery was turned off due to a judge's order, it can now be switched on again. A halt in mandatory licensing activity ordered by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen is over, after Griffen dismissed a lawsuit over the process.

Last month one applicant in the program, privately held Medicanna, filed a lawsuit against the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission and a pair of other state agencies. The company claimed that Nature's Herbs and Wellness, a rival, was less qualified for a license than itself, but nevertheless was granted a permit by the state. Griffen subsequently imposed a temporary stoppage to the licensing program.

Gavel with marijuana leaf

Image source: Getty Images.

In dismissing the lawsuit, the judge ruled that Medicanna does not have any grounds to challenge the process by which applicants receive licenses. The state's lawyers successfully argued that, since Medicanna requested and obtained a refund of its application fee, it disqualified itself from receiving a permit.

"Once you step out of the competition," the judge said, "you are no longer entitled to complain whether other people are more worthy competitors."

Medicanna's lawyer said the company will soon decide whether to appeal the decision.

Arkansas residents elected to legalize medical marijuana in a 2016 ballot vote. The sale and consumption of recreational cannabis remains illegal.

The first medical marijuana dispensaries opened for business in mid-2019; at present there are 32 of them scattered throughout the state. One is operated by Grassroots, which last year agreed to be acquired by publicly traded marijuana company Curaleaf (CURLF -0.99%). The Curaleaf transaction has still not closed.

Curaleaf has not commented publicly on the recent developments in Arkansas. Its stock closed down marginally on Wednesday.  

 

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc.
CURLF
$5.00 (-0.99%) $0.05

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
316%
 
S&P 500 Returns
112%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/03/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.