A Pulaski County Circuit Court judge has nullified 27 different medical marijuana laws and regulations that were passed by the Arkansas General Assembly since 2017.
Judge Morgan “Chip” Welch ruled that in passing the 27 laws that altered the state’s medical marijuana program, the legislature took unconstitutional actions that are not legally valid. Some of those laws include a limit on the amount of THC in medical marijuana products and limits on marijuana advertising. Judge Welch ruled that all 27 laws are now “void”.
The ruling stemmed from a case brought forward by Good Day Farm Arkansas, LLC, a medical marijuana cultivator, and Capital City Medicinal, LLC, a medical marijuana dispensary. The companies argued that the legislature overstepped their bounds when they changed the voter-approved law without seeking voter input.
The judge agreed with the plaintiffs, voiding laws passed by the legislature in 2017, 2019 and 2021. In his ruling Judge Welch cited a 1951 supreme court ruling (Arkansas Game and Fish v. Edgmon) that stated the General Assembly does not have the authority to alter constitutional amendments passed by the voters.
The state argued that lawmakers had the authority to alter the medical marijuana law.
“I am disappointed in the ruling as it is contrary to the law and the method used to amend the Arkansas Constitution for measures initiated by the people like Amendment 98,” said Attorney General Tim Griffin in a statement to press. “I support the General Assembly, remain confident in our case and plan to appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court expeditiously.”