Legal hassles surface over unfair evaluations of pot permits

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on September 26, 2017.

A Bethlehem based applicant has approached the Court to put on hold the roll out of medical marijuana licenses over unfair evaluations in awarding permits for dispensary and grower licenses. The company Keystone ReLeaf, a rejected applicant, has filed a lawsuit in the Commonwealth Court.

The move has upset the state lawmakers, who say though it is not surprising to see rejected applicants filing lawsuits, but the delay in disbursing medical pot licenses will trouble the patients.

A report has revealed that though photo identity cards and resumes were the scoring criteria, at least 20 applications were disqualified for technical glitches and errors at the clerical level. In certain cases, the patients were barred from making easy corrections. The Health Department’s decision not to score applications which were deemed incomplete has been challenged by over 20 applicants.

As per the Medical Marijuana Act, the Health department has to ‘notify’ the applicants in case of further documentation. In such cases, the applicant have the time period of 30 days to provide additional information in their application. Keeping this paragraph into account, the appeal alleges that the disqualification is illegal and not just severe.

Keystone’s attorney has argues that the rejection based on technical glitches ‘would be an abuse of discretion.’

Besides, the appeal also claims that a Pittsburgh-based applicant was allowed by the Health Department to resubmit its application after it was destroyed in the process of email.

The companies which had applied for the licenses had to pay a non-refundable fees of $ 10,000 for growing medical pot. Those, who wanted to set up dispensary had to pay $5,000 as the application fees.

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