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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2019 file photo, marijuana grows at an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, Calif. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Eureka Green, a rejected contender for an Arkansas medical marijuana dispensary license, sued state regulators Monday, calling on Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce to bar authorities from licensing any more facilities until he can review the licensing process.

The Carroll County company asserts that the licensing process violates constitutional protections for fair play and state open-government laws.

Eureka Green, also known as Carroll County Holdings Inc., also wants the judge to order defendants Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission and the Department of Finance and Administration's Alcoholic Beverage Control Division to reinstate the company's license application, award Eureka Green a dispensary license at its next opportunity and repair its licensing procedures to make them conform with state law.

Eureka Green of Eureka Springs claims that despite having a top-scoring application, it was illegally forced out of the licensing competition for a dispensary in the Zone 1 region of Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington counties because the Arkansas Medical Commission failed to follow its own rules, enforced some of them unfairly and treated some companies differently, which violates constitutional protections for due process and equal protection, according to the suit filed by attorney Chris Burks of the WH Law firm in North Little Rock.

"The Commission's findings, conclusions, decisions, and its overall process for refunding applicants it deems unsuccessful to operate dispensary facilities was arbitrary and capricious, constituted an abuse of discretion, was without any rational basis, was plagued by unlawful and inconsistent procedures, failed to follow and uniformly apply its own rules, and was not supported by substantial evidence," the suit states.

Eureka Green placed fifth in the four-way contest, the first, for a dispensary license, which should have made it eligible for consideration in the next round of licensing, the 13-page suit states.

Instead, the defendants branded the company "unsuccessful" and refunded half of its $7,500 application fee, disqualifying it for the next round. The commission acted as if Eureka Green had withdrawn its application, the lawsuit states.

The company has never asked to withdraw its application.

Print Headline: Pot company sues state regulators, calls for licenses study

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