Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen did not have jurisdiction to rule in the suit filed March 13 by Naturalis Health LLC and he could not enjoin the awarding of medical marijuana cultivation permits because they’d already been awarded, a complaint filed today by Natural State Wellness Enterprises alleges.

Natural State asks that Griffen vacate the preliminary injunction he issued last week and that the Naturalis Health LLC suit, which names as defendants the state Department of Finance and Authority, the state Alcohol Beverage Control Division and the Medical Marijuana Commission, be transferred to Lee County Court, where a similar suit against the cultivation license awards was filed four hours earlier. UPDATE: Preston Eldridge, the attorney for the Lee County plaintiffs Mildred Griggs and Delta Cannabinoid Corp., says Griggs’ suit — which makes many of the same claims as Naturalis’ case — was filed after, not before, the Naturalis suit. In fact, Delta Cannabinoid has filed a motion in both Lee and Pulaski counties to transfer its case to Pulaski.

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Natural State Wellness was one of five cultivation enterprises that successfully competed for licenses to grow medical marijuana by the Medical Marijuana Commission.

Last week, former Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, an owner in Natural State Wellness, issued a statement saying it had its permit in hand:

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“The MMC issued to us the attached license on green paper, which states that it is, “CULTIVATION FACILITY LICENSE PERMIT 00123”

“Natural State Wellness Enterprises was clearly awarded its license on March 9, 2018. We are evaluating how best to respond to the court’s order, which says it is both a “Preliminary Injunction and Declaratory Judgment.” We will take all appropriate steps to defend our license and assist the State in defending the constitutionality of the MMC’s decisions.”

“If the Court’s ruling stands, the MMC will have to hire dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people to investigate every assertion made under oath on every application. That would have a severe budget impact on many agencies beyond just the MMC, and is simply not required by the rules or the Constitution,” McDaniel said. 

The Wellness lawsuit can be read here.

Note: The art element used previously with this post was incorrect.

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