US (UT): Lawsuit filed over MMJ cultivation licenses

A lawsuit has been filed over Utah's medical cannabis cultivation system by a company that was rejected for a license. JLPR Inc. filed the lawsuit over the weekend against Utah's Department of Agriculture and Food, including former agency officials involved in the medical cannabis program, state purchasing officials and even rival companies.

"The corruption and other problems in the selection and agency appeal process were a gross violation of JLPR’s due process and equal protection rights," the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, states.

In 2018, Utah voters approved Proposition 2, which legalized medical marijuana. The Utah State Legislature overrode the voter-approved ballot initiative, creating a tightly-regulated system. In 2019, UDAF had 10 cannabis cultivation licenses to offer. It only issued eight, triggering a series of protests from companies who were rejected.

The lawsuit accuses UDAF officials of improperly influencing the bid process for a coveted cultivation license. It also claims the process was rushed, requirements were changed to favor certain companies over others, and there were conflicts of interest in license evaluators and improper communication between state agriculture officials and the companies seeking a license.


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