Missouri must disclose medical marijuana applications, state court rules

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The Missouri Supreme Court ordered state regulators to release information about successful medical marijuana applications in cases of appeal, ending efforts by the state to keep those documents secret.

The unanimous decision paves the way for potentially hundreds of unsuccessful applicants to use the information in licensing appeals, The Kansas City Star reported.

California-based Kings Garden Midwest, which had unsuccessfully applied for two cultivation permits, filed the legal challenge.

The state Department of Health and Senior Services, which oversees MMJ licensing, had refused to disclose the information, citing a confidentiality clause in the 2018 ballot measure.

But lower courts ruled in favor of Kings Garden Midwest, and the Missouri Supreme Court said in its nine-page ruling that the “plain language” of the state constitution “allows confidential information to be used for purposes of appealing (the) Department’s decision to deny a license.”

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The state high court ruling is the latest twist in a program that has been plagued by controversy over its licensing process.

More than 750 license appeals were still pending as of a recent court filing.