LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — More than two years after Arkansans voted to legalize medical marijuana, the commission created to approve licenses for cultivators and growers has had to respond to public criticisms of lack of transparency and sluggish movement.
Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman, who chairs the Medical Marijuana Commission (MMC), said Tuesday (Nov. 13) at a live-streamed meeting that she believed the frequent public meetings were examples of the commission’s transparency. Commissioners also largely attributed slow marijuana growth to cultivators.
The commission will hear from cultivators at the end of the month. At the meeting Tuesday the MMC voted to send denial letters to disqualified cultivation applicants. At least one cultivator that had their application denied is expected to file a lawsuit.
Since 2016, the commission has been dogged with accusations of corruption and collusion. Last month, a northwest Arkansas newspaper reported that commissioner Dr. Carlos Roman appeared to hand an unredacted successful cultivator application to a cultivator whose application was rejected.
The commission did not respond to public questions about Roman’s actions.
The commission announced Tuesday that Public Consulting Group, the Boston-based group hired to score 198 dispensary applications will have their scoring completed by December, according to Little Rock CNN affliate KATV. In a planned meeting on December 19th the commission announced that 32 applicants will receive dispensary licenses.