Nolan asks for new trial, says he’s due ABC hearing and $6 million of marijuana could be wasted November 19, 2022 By Griffin Coop Storm Nolan, owner of an embattled Fort Smith cultivation facility, filed a motion in circuit court Thursday asking a judge for a new trial in the case that sent his business on a path toward losing its state-issued cultivation license and $6 million worth of marijuana. Nolan contends the state Medical Marijuana Commission’s rules were not created and approved properly. He says his cultivation facility should not be considered to be within 3,000 feet of a school, that the plaintiff’s proposed facility is too close to a public school facility and that the state lost its right to strip his license when it took fees, fines and taxes from him. In a separate motion, Nolan’s attorneys argued Friday that he is afforded a hearing before the Alcoholic Beverage Control division by the state constitution. The plaintiff, 2600 Holdings, filed a motion earlier this week asking Judge Herb Wright for an expedited ruling in the case after the ABC scheduled a hearing where Nolan would go before ABC Director Doralee Chandler on November 28. A ruling by Chandler could be appealed to the full ABC board. A ruling by that board could be appealed to circuit court, according to ABC spokesman Scott Hardin. In the Friday filing, Nolan said $6 million in unsold marijuana would go to waste if the judge goes along with the plaintiff’s demands. Seventy-five employees would also lose their jobs, the filing states. Nolan previously attempted to intervene in the case on October 31 but Judge Herb Wright denied the motion before ruling a few days later that the state Medical Marijuana Commission erred when it issued a license to Nolan’s River Valley Relief cultivation facility. Wright sided with the plaintiffs in the case, 2600 Holdings doing business as Southern Roots, that Nolan’s facility was less than 3,000 from Sebastian County Juvenile Detention Facility, which met the commission’s definition of a school. Wright also found that Nolan had dissolved the entity that originally applied for the license, River Valley Relief Production LLC, and should not have received one under the newly formed River Valley Relief Cultivation LLC. In Thursday’s filings, attorneys Matthew Horan of Fort Smith and Joseph Falasco of Little Rock said they were representing Nolan and River Valley Production LLC doing business as River Valley Relief Cultivation. The filing to intervene said the court made “fundamental errors of fact and law” and deprived Nolan of due process by not allowing him to participate in the case. The attorneys also argue in the filing that the license was issued to Nolan who is a “natural person” and not to a business entity. Amendment 98 of the Arkansas constitution states that the licenses be awarded to natural persons, the filing states. The filing also states that 2600 Holdings’ application calls for operating a cultivation facility that is in violation of the commission’s rules about proximity to schools. The filing states that a facility can’t be located within 3,000 feet of a building operated by a public school district and that 2600 Holdings proposes using a facility that is 700 feet from a school bus transportation facility that is operated by the Jacksonville Public School District. The attorneys also argue that the Sebastian County Juvenile Detention Facility is not a school. First, they say the Fort Smith Public School District provided Nolan a list of schools and the list did not include the facility. Second, Nolan got “substantiation” from the Sebastian County Judge, the Fort Smith school district and the state Department of Education that the facility is not a school. Third, an advisory from the Medical Marijuana Commission in 2017 said that a chapel inside a church does not cause an entire hospital to be considered a church for the purposes of situating a facility, so, the attorneys argue, classes inside a detention facility should not cause the entire facility to be considered a school. Furthermore, the attorneys argue that the commission’s rules were not properly created and approved, or promulgated, and should not be enforced. The attorneys also argue that the public lost some of its rights relative to River Valley when it began taking fines, fees and taxes from the cultivator.