New lawsuit filed over Ohio cannabis cultivation licenses

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Six companies that lost out in November when Ohio awarded 24 medical marijuana cultivation permits have filed suit against the state’s Department of Commerce over what they allege was a “flawed scoring process.”

According to The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, the six plaintiff companies are asking a judge to prevent the state from granting 12 large-scale cultivation permits.

CannAscend Ohio filed the suit and is joined by Appalachian Pharm Products, CannaMed Therapeutics, Palliatech Ohio, Schottenstein Aphria and Trillium Holdings.

The lawsuit alleges:

  • Five license winners should have been disqualified.
  • Two companies that won permits under a diversity provision aren’t actually owned by minorities.
  • 14 applications were incorrectly scored.
  • At least two department scoring consultants had conflicts of interest with companies that won permits.

The suit, which has been expected for months, isn’t the only one the state is facing over its MMJ program.

The filing also follows public critiques from state Auditor Dave Yost, who has said the grow licensing process contained a “critical flaw.”

The department recently said it’s weighing the possible addition of a 25th cultivation permit.