LITTLE ROCK, AR (KFSM) -- In a packed boardroom, the five members of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission agreed to keep cultivation and dispensary applications active for 24 months.
Before Thursday's meeting, any applicant who received a denial letter could appeal by filing a formal lawsuit.
Without a denial letter, Medical Marijuana Association Attorney Alex Gray is hopeful this will help cultivation centers get the ball rolling.
"It sounds like the top 5 will get to work and start constructing their facilities now. I anticipate that there will be lawsuits." said Gary.
With controversy surrounding how the cultivation centers were chosen, the group approved a rule that allows it to hire an outside consultant , if necessary, to score hundreds of dispensary applications received to sell medical marijuana.
"It does not commit us into hiring it, just allows us to," said a commission member.
In the event of a tie while scoring, the commission agreed to use a double-blind lottery to break the tie. By law, the panel can award 32 dispensary licenses.
The medical marijuana commission meets again on July 25th.