Trib editorial: Ruling puts pot facilities in proper perspective
A decision by Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records clears the clouded reasoning that effectively obscured reams of information about the state’s nascent medical marijuana industry. If there was ever a case for transparency — from a state administration that supposedly champions it — this would be it.
Under a ruling from appeals officer Kyle Applegate, Gov. Tom Wolf’s Health Department is to republish applications released last year from companies seeking to operate medical marijuana production facilities and dispensaries. The department had allowed growers/processors, themselves, to “self-redact” anything they considered to be proprietary information, in addition to what the Health Department redacted, according to PennLive. Subsequently there was no telling from some of the heavily redacted applications who would manage these operations or who would fund them.
Now the state will be required to provide the names, addresses and “points of contact for all owners, financial backers and key operators of firms named in the appeal,” PennLive reports. Details on facility operations, apart from specific building and security information, are also required.
The state and affected applicants have less than 30 days to comply or appeal to Commonwealth Court. We’re talking about providing due attention to the roots of a new industry that likely will grow into a multibillion-dollar enterprise.
The level of transparency ordered should have been the rule going forward when the state signed off on these grower/processor applications.