‘Critical flaw’ found in Ohio’s medical cannabis grow license scoring process

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Ohio’s state auditor has found a “critical flaw” in the process used by the Ohio Department of Commerce to score business applications for a limited number of medical marijuana cultivation licenses.

According to The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Auditor Dave Yost said at least two Commerce Department employees had essentially unlimited access to the applications.

That means the employees could have altered scores in the highly competitive bidding process for the 24 MMJ cultivation permits the state issued in November.

Specifically, the concern is that the two employees could have logged in as one of the 20 formal application reviewers.

“Because of this critical flaw in the procedure’s design, neither this office, nor the public, can rely upon the cultivator application results,” Yost wrote in a letter obtained by The Plain Dealer.

The Commerce Department told the newspaper it had updated its procedures to secure online usernames and passwords.

Regardless, the incident is just the latest fuel for ongoing criticism of Ohio’s licensing process.

In December, the Commerce Department came under fire for potential conflicts with at least two of the application scorers, which is part of what triggered Yost’s audit, The Plain Dealer reported.

So far, 69 of the losing cultivation permit applicants have appealed their scores, according to the newspaper.