A disqualified medical-marijuana grower applicant from Grady is asking Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen to bar state regulators from issuing more cultivation licenses until the judge can decide whether the state properly followed the rules when the first round of licenses was awarded.
The request Tuesday by Carpenter Farms Medical Group LLC to halt grower licensing is part of the company's petition to the judge appealing its disqualification by the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, which was announced in June and formalized in November.
Represented by attorney Victor Harper of Star City, Carpenter Farms wants Griffen to force the commission to reinstate the company's application, which would qualify the Lincoln County grower for the next round of licenses.
At least, the firm wants the judge to force commissioners to re-grade its application under conditions that would be set by the court, according to its petition.
Carpenter Farms wants Griffen to halt grower licensing until he rules on the appeal.
The commission didn't follow its own rules or state law when it rejected the Carpenter Farms application, the 31-page petition states. The company also claims it was treated unfairly by Commissioner Travis Story and Mary Casteel, the director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.
Carpenter Farms was one of 13 disqualified applicants, but it was only eliminated after it placed sixth in the scoring process. Licenses were awarded to the top five applicants.
Carpenter Farms is jointly owned by Carpenter Medical Group LLC, which is owned by Abraham Carpenter Jr. and Bobbie Carpenter-Clark, and South Street Medical Holding LLC, owned by Seth Murphy, William H. Murphy Jr. and William H. Murphy III.
It is the only 100-percent minority-owned applicant, and its grievances with the vetting process have been championed by Democratic state Reps. Vivian Flowers of Pine Bluff and Reginald Murdock of Marianna.
Metro on 12/19/2018