The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the way for the state to launch its medical marijuana program, reversing and dismissing a judge’s ruling that prevented officials from issuing the first licenses for businesses to grow the drug.
Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen ruled in March that the state’s process for awarding medical marijuana cultivation licenses was unconstitutional. He said the process violated the 2016 voter-approved constitutional amendment that legalized marijuana for patients with certain conditions in Arkansas.
Griffen’s order prevented the state’s Medical Marijuana Commission from awarding cultivation licenses to five businesses it had identified as the top scoring firms among 95 applicants that sought the permits.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Griffen did not have jurisdiction to halt the licenses, noting the commission had not yet taken final action or issued denial letters to the unsuccessful firms. In the ruling, the court said the Arkansas…