Arkansas Lawmakers Approve Medical Marijuana Consultant Rule

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers have approved a rule to allow the state’s Medical Marijuana Commission to hire a consultant who will review hundreds of applications it’s received from businesses that want to sell the drug.

The Legislative Council’s executive subcommittee on Thursday approved the rule from the commission allowing the panel to hire the consultant for reviewing and scoring the dispensary applications. The commission last week awarded licenses for five cultivation facilities after the state Supreme Court reversed a judge’s ruling that blocked the permitting process.

The panel also approved a rule that would allow the panel to keep unsuccessful applications for growing and selling marijuana active for two years. The move would allow the next highest scoring company to be awarded a license if a permit is revoked.