Marijuana Commission's new Catch 22. No court appeal possible for losers. | Arkansas Blog

Friday, July 13, 2018

Marijuana Commission's new Catch 22. No court appeal possible for losers.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 10:05 AM

catch22.png
We reported yesterday that the state Medical Marijuana Commission had voted to keep marijuana cultivation permits "active" for two years so that should any of the five winning permit applicants fall by the wayside another could be elevated. This, however, amounts to a Catch 22 to prevent lawsuits by losing applicants.

Here's why.

Commission rules say applicants may appeal denial of a permit to circuit court.

Indeed, the Arkansas Supreme Court, in reversing Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen's invalidation of the top five cultivation applicants, wrote:

“However, the arguments concerning the denial of the license were not ripe for the circuit court to hear. Because the appellees have not been issued denial letters subsequent to an adjudication, the issue was not ripe; therefore, we reverse.”
With yesterday's action, no denial letters will be issued for at least two years, thus ..... no appeal is possible.

I asked Scott Hardin, the Department of Finance Administration spokesman, if I was reading the action, rule and law correctly.  Does they mean no one can appeal a denial because there's been no denial?

He responded:

That is correct. Keeping the applications active does two things…1. If for any reason one of the five cultivation licenses issued this week is revoked, the Commission may then provide that license to the next highest score (which would be the sixth place application) and 2. Commissioners, at any point, may decide to issue the three additional cultivation licenses (rules allow for eight total). If a year from now that decision is made, the Commission can simply go to the existing, active cultivation applications to award those three licenses, avoiding an entirely new application and review period, which would take several months.
To the best of my knowledge so far, the commission hasn't come up with a way to block complaints about specific winners. But add this Catch 22 to the scoring irregularities, conflicts of interest and bribery allegation that have already put the process in low repute.

Hardin later added about Commission procedures:

While there is not a process by which an unsuccessful applicant goes before the Commission for a hearing, there is still a process by which unsuccessful applicants may file a letter of complaint/appeal. Under the rules, the authority to investigate any appeal is now under the jurisdiction of ABC’s Enforcement Division, a full law enforcement agency. Similar to the work they do on alcohol permits, this division will conduct an investigation upon receiving any formal concern or appeal. The Division consists of 18 agents (including former FBI). The protest letters that were filed with the MMC are now under investigation at ABC Enforcement. Again, similar to alcohol permits, Enforcement’s investigation may result in a permit being revoked.

Tags: , , ,


Favorite

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Feds bust Central Arkansas drug ring

    The U.S. attorney's office in Little Rock announced today the indictment of 31 people on 53 drug, gun and money laundering charges in a Central Arkansas drug distribution operation supplied from California.
    • Sep 20, 2018
  • Six Supreme Court justices found to have violated ethics code

    The Arkansas Judicial and Disability Commission has announced the filing of formal charges of ethics violations against six members of the Arkansas Supreme Court for their handling of a case involving Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen.
    • Sep 20, 2018
  • Thursday's open line

    A light news day unless your name is Brett Kavanaugh. Here's the open line.
    • Sep 20, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Thursday's open line

    • This Coward Trump quote from the article linked below is my pick for "Idiot's Quote"…

    • on September 20, 2018
  • Re: Thursday's open line

    • Franklin Graham hearts him some BP Oil. Yeah, THAT BP, who befouled the Gulf. FYI:…

    • on September 20, 2018
  • Re: Thursday's open line

    • Would that Franklin Graham asshat contend that the fact that this is okay, because it…

    • on September 20, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation