US (AR): Lawsuit leaves cannabis industry in limbo

The Arkansas medical cannabis industry crossed its fingers in June when a Pulaski County circuit judge struck down 27 laws governing the industry’s operations and products.

Dispensaries, cultivators, and cannabis processors are waiting for details to shake out, wary of consequences if they defy limits set by the Legislature.

Judge Morgan “Chip” Welch ruled the 27 laws unconstitutional on June 14, striking a ban on the sale of pre-rolled joints, limits on levels of the psychoactive ingredient THC in edible products, and broad restrictions on advertising. He also voided legislation letting employers keep medical cannabis patients out of safety-sensitive positions.

The state is advising the industry to operate as usual, and it is, but industry executives in limbo told Arkansas Business that they hope to start serving patients better if a promised appeal by the state fails.

Other managers fear harm from too much liberalization, and everyone is cautious. “Most of us prefer not to toe the line when it comes to state regulation,” Ruby Edens said.


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