Three days after Arkansas medical-marijuana regulators, acting on court orders, canceled a Fort Smith grower’s cultivation license, a higher court blocked that move Thursday, leaving ownership of the permit with its original receiver, at least for the time being.
The Arkansas Supreme Court was called to intervene in an appeal by the grower Nolan “Storm” Bennett and his company, River Valley Production LLC of Fort Smith, doing business as River Valley Relief Cultivation.
They have called on the high court to overturn the decision to void Bennett’s ownership of the permit. In an unsigned order Thursday, the justices stayed the decision to void Bennett’s ownership of the license while simultaneously promising to fast-track Bennett’s appeal of the process.
This is Bennett’s second challenge to the Arkansas Supreme Court to keep the license, the last of eight allowed by law. Last month, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herb Wright ordered regulators to take the license back after finding that Bennett’s company had not been qualified to receive the cultivation permit in 2020.
His ruling was in response to a 2021 lawsuit by a Jacksonville company, 2600 Holdings LLC, doing business as Southern Roots Cultivation, that claims it should have gotten the license instead.
Bennett and company attempted to join the suit, which targeted only the regulating state agencies, the Medical Marijuana Commission and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Administration, to defend their interest. But they were…