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US (UT): Audit finds Utah's cannabis licensing process rife with bias

A scathing audit of the Utah Department of Agriculture released Wednesday concludes that senior leadership corrupted the process by which the state selected businesses for cannabis cultivation licenses.

KaeCee Kingsley is a co-owner of a cannabis operation that applied and narrowly missed out, on a license. “We knew that something was wrong,” Kingsley said.

Kingsley said those in the industry were puzzled by who was chosen, based on the relative skill and experience of those on the list of applicants. Auditors found a host of problems.

For starters, they found a possible conflict of interest wasn’t disclosed. Making that worse, the selection process wasn’t blind. The audit found that the selection committee members were aware of the applicants’ identities.


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