Ohio officials are defending the way in which they chose the state’s 24 medical marijuana cultivators after a series of scandals have brought the integrity of the department’s selection process into question.
Questions first began to be raised when it was learned that one of the application scorers, Trevor C. Bozeman, was arrested on marijuana-related charges in Pennsylvania in 2005. Shortly thereafter, it was also revealed that another application scorer, Keoki Wing, had ties with one of the license winners, Harvest Grows, LLC.
Further complicating the process is a lawsuit filed by failed applicant PharmaCann Ohio, LLC, over the state’s alleged “racial quota,” which requires the state to award 15% of the state’s medical marijuana licenses to “economically disadvantaged” groups.
Speaking with Cincinnati.com, Marcie Seidel, Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee and executive director of Drug Free Action Alliance, said that the license selection process was “as close to perfect” as it could possibly come.
“I regret the fact that there people out there are throwing hand grenades in the media to try to discredit it when I think, in fact, it is an incredible process,” Seidel said.
In response to the criticisms, the department will heed the advice of Attorney General Mike DeWine and hire an independent investigator to handle all concerns related to the application process.