, Order could force PA to reveal more about medical marijuana applicants

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana regulators must disclose more information about business license applicants under a ruling by the state’s Office of Open Records.

The decision by an appeals officer requires the Pennsylvania health department to make public the names of principals, operators and financial backers for MMJ cultivators and dispensary applicants, the Tribune-Review reported.

However, no information would be released until the Commonwealth Court makes a final decision, a cannabis-focused attorney told Marijuana Business Daily.

The health department was given 30 days to comply or pursue an appeal through Commonwealth Court, according to the newspaper.

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“That final decision will not be for months or years if either the Department of Health or one of the third-party applicants implicated in this appeals the decision,” said Judith Cassel, a Harrisburg-based attorney.

A health department spokeswoman told the Tribune-Review that the agency is “reviewing the order and weighing our options.”

The issue came to a head in September when a newspaper challenged health department redactions of applicants’ information, including their funding and who was applying for the licenses. Regulators allowed applicants to determine what information was made available to the public.

Pennsylvania’s MMJ program is expected to launch later this year and, once it’s established, could become one of the nation’s more robust markets.