It now might be at least another year before Arkansans have access to medical cannabis.
Wednesday, A Pulaski County Judge, Wendell Griffen, sided with the plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission.
The commission is now forbidden to hand out any permits to the cultivation center applicants.
‘We’ve all been waiting since 2016, and we knew it was going to take some time. But this adds a whole new level of frustration,” said Avalon, a future medical marijuana patient. “I hope and pray everyday that they get the ball rolling, because there’s so many people who need this medicine.”
The 38th ranked applicant, Naturalis Health LLC, sued the commission over the process.
“This lawsuit that was filed is not uncommon. But I’m not aware of where it has actually been successful in holding up the entire system,” said Joshua Horn, Co-Chair Cannabis Law Practice Group with Fox Rothschild Law Firm.
Horn said the hurdles Arkansas has seen is somewhat typical compared to other states. “It does take time. Some states have taken longer. Some states have taken shorter.
But Horn said the whole point of having highly regulated, state run programs for medical pot is to make sure everything is handled correctly.
“The commission didn’t really dot it’s I’s and cross it’s T’s when it came to properly vetting these applicants,” said Horn.
Avalon said the delay is only going to hurt people trying to stop using opioids.
“I’ve been on pain medication for a long time because of my spinal disabilities. And if I can take my CBD oil, and the cannabis I don’t have to take those pain medications,” said Avalon.
She’s hopeful something can be done to avoid Arkansans who need the medicine to wait any longer.
“We’re all very disappointed in our people who are in charge of this,” explained Avalon.
Representatives of the commission have yet to say if they will appeal the decision to the state supreme court.