PA court: Medical cannabis regulators must handle application redactions

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Pennsylvania medical cannabis regulators can’t turn over the responsibility of redacting sensitive information from license applications even if the work is a burden, the state’s highest court ruled.

According to The Associated Press, the state Supreme Court affirmed a lower-court decision that MMJ regulators are responsible for deciding what information should be redacted in each application from possible public view.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health had appealed that ruling to the state’s highest court on the argument that MMJ applicants know best what information is proprietary or an issue of security.

The original lawsuit was brought by news organizations, which argued that state regulators improperly allowed companies to redact material that should have been disclosed under the state’s public information law, The Associated Press reported.

Evidence in the case included applications that showed wildly different amounts of material that were blacked out.

The state’s Office of Open Records also ruled that Pennsylvania MMJ regulators hadn’t made a “good faith effort” in the process.

The state Supreme Court rejected the argument from one applicant that it should be able to redact more material but granted an appeal from Terrapin Investment Fund that some banking information should be allowed to be redacted for public security reasons.

That portion of the case will go back to the lower court for reconsideration, according to The Associated Press.