Rejected Lehigh Valley marijuana applicants question scoring – Allentown Morning Call
Pennsylvania got into the medical marijuana business late enough to learn from the most egregious mistakes nearly two dozen other states made rolling out their programs.
Still, the tradeoffs inherent to any tough decision were on display this week after the Department of Health issued the first permits to grow and process the plant.
Advocates and experts praised the department for issuing the permits just 90 days after applications were due and going to great lengths to prevent applicants from influencing a still-anonymous review board.
But some of the businesses whose applications were rejected — including at least three in the Lehigh Valley — expressed bewilderment and frustration over how the tight-lipped department scored the applications.
“There are some surprising things in there,” said developer Lou Pektor, who had hoped to open an affiliate of Colorado’s Biogreen Farms LLC in Williams Township. “We’re seeing some categories that we think are totally misscored, let’s put it that way.”
Pektor and others are mulling what feedback they got from the state — and hoping the state will respond to their feedback going forward.
The state allocated two of the 12 first-round permits to applicants in the 10-county northeast region. The Lehigh Valley’s top scorer was TruVo Health Care, which at 693 points was the eighth-best in the region and 56 points fewer than the second-place permit recipient, Pennsylvania Medical Solutions LLC of Scranton. It was 60 points behind the top regional scorer, Standard Farms LLC of White Haven, Luzerne County.
TruVo had hoped to earn both grower/processor and dispensary permits so it could manufacture and distribute