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Arkansas Judge Rejects Try To End Marijuana License Lawsuit

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen

An Arkansas judge who blocked the state from issuing its first licenses to grow medical marijuana has rejected an effort to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the state's application process for cultivation facilities.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen on Friday rejected the state's argument that Naturalis Health, LLC, a company that unsuccessfully applied for a license, didn't have standing. Griffen also rejected the state's argument that it is immune from the lawsuit.

Griffen is holding a hearing on whether to issue a preliminary injunction further preventing the state from awarding licenses. He issued a temporary restraining order against the state on Wednesday - shortly before state regulators planned to issue five licenses.

The company is asking that all 95 license applications be submitted to an independent evaluator.