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story.lead_photo.caption The Sentinel-Record/Richard Rasmussen FIRST OF ITS KIND: Doctor's Orders RX medical marijuana dispensary at 4897 Malvern Ave. opened Friday and made the state's first lawful sale of the drug.

One of Arkansas' first medical marijuana distributor can keep its name, for now, after a federal judge this week declined to issue a restraining order requested by two pharmacies operating under a similar name.

Doctor's Orders Pharmacy -- with two locations in the Pine Bluff area -- filed its federal lawsuit in May alleging false advertising and misappropriation of a trademark against Doctor's Orders RX, a medical marijuana dispensary that opened in Garland in May.

Attorneys for the Pine Bluff pharmacies had requested a temporary restraining order to immediately quash the dispensary's use of the name.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker, however, issued an order Monday saying that a restraining order would be unnecessary ahead of a hearing set for noon Friday. That hearing is for an injunction over the the use of the dispensary's name.

The Pine Bluff-area pharmacies, which operate under the corporate name White Hall Pharmacy, alleged that numerous customers had called in seeking information about medical marijuana since the dispensary opened. The customers were confusing the two separate businesses, which are about an hour and a half apart.

Baker, however, said not enough information was available prior to the hearing to make a decision.

"It is unclear if defendants' medical marijuana dispensary serves customers throughout Arkansas, the Hot Springs area, or some other region," Baker wrote. "In other words, it is unclear if defendants' marks compete with White Hall Pharmacy's marks in any market."

Micah Goodwin, an attorney for the pharmacy owners, declined to comment Tuesday.

The dispensary's attorney, Charles Singleton, praised the judge's ruling, saying he didn't think there was a need for a temporary restraining order.

"I don't think it has merit," he added of the pharmacies' general complaint.

Metro on 06/12/2019

Print Headline: Pot dispensary keeps name, for now

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