From the outset, Pennsylvania’s new medical marijuana industry was shrouded in secrecy.
Companies vying for lucrative state permits to grow or sell cannabis blacked out key information on their permit applications at the state’s encouragement. The Wolf administration waged a two-year court battle to protect those redactions and to shield bureaucrats who decided how permits were awarded from scrutiny.
Recent court-ordered releases of public information resulting from PennLive’s years-long legal battle with the state as well as testimony given as part of administrative appeals shine a light on the inner workings — and lapses of judgment — undergirding what could soon become a multi-billion dollar industry.
Last year, a state-assigned appeals officer concluded that the Department of Health’s scoring process was so marred by “significant errors and irregularities” that one company, Keystone ReLeaf, was entitled to a new review of its