The Department of Health and Senior Services is again asking medical marijuana facility applicants to help them in appeals to “maintain the confidentiality of reports.”
DHSS’ Section for Medical Marijuana, the state’s licensing authority over medical marijuana facility licenses, is asking all those who applied for a license – including those who received a license and are being regulated by the suit defendant – to intervene on their behalf to prevent the courts from compelling the Department to disclose applications for review by the Administrative Hearing Commission – the state’s appellant court for license appeals.
The Department’s motion to block the release of all applications to the AHC was struck down in a separate case, which had been moved to Boone County for hearing. DHSS has three suits against them asking it to release license applications for the use in appeals. The appeals question consistency in application scoring as a cornerstone of their appeal and request the AHC review and verify applications for use in their appeal.
At no point has the AHC indicated that they would release the applications beyond the use of the court.
All levels of courts, including the AHC, review confidential documents related to cases daily. Appellants have stated they wish to have the applications as a whole reviewed by the court to verify claims of arbitrary and capricious scoring and also verify the use of applications provided by other licensees for use as evidence.
The Department has longtime stood by the state’s scoring process, which was done by a state-contracted, out-of-state third party. The vast majority of appellants believe the scoring process was flawed and cite it as a reason they should be awarded a license.
The state received 2,163 applications in the first open application period in August 2019. Original estimates