Medical cannabis grower appeals loss of license to Arkansas Supreme Court

The owner of a medical cannabis grow operation that lost one of eight cultivation licenses allowed by the state has appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court in a bid to get a new trial to decide the matter.

The cultivation license is the last of eight authorized by the state constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2016 to legalize medical cannabis. It was awarded to Fort Smith businessman Bennett "Storm" Nolan, whose River Valley Production LLC of Fort Smith began growing cannabis last year and started selling it in February as River Valley Relief Cultivation.

On November 3, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herb Wright ruled that Nolan and company weren't qualified candidates and shouldn't have been licensed, but cannabis regulators ignored their own rules while making up others to award the certification. He told regulators to take the license and properly award it to a legitimate candidate.

Wright's summary judgment ruling was the result of a January 2021 lawsuit by 2600 Holdings LLC, doing business as Southern Roots Cultivation, that claimed it had met all of the mandated qualifications for the license but had been wrongly passed over in favor of Nolan and River Valley.

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