Lawsuit threatens to delay Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Parents who fought for the legalization of medical marijuana returned to the state Capitol on Tuesday to take on another battle.

“To delay this program by one minute is selfish, especially when it seems to be for personal gain,” Campaign for Compassion’s Cara Salemme said.

The state Health Department denied a grower/processor permit to Keystone Releaf LLC. Now, the group is suing.

“They asked that the entire program be shut down, reconfigured, and started from scratch,” said Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware), who co-authored the medical marijuana legislation.

“The relief requested in the petition says we don’t care about you, we want to win and we will win at any cost,” Campaign for Compassion’s Christine Brann said., Campaign for Compassion.

“You win some, you lose some, and there is a second round of licenses, a second chance, and you need to do better next time,” Salemme said. “You don’t waste lives in the meantime because we don’t have the luxury of second chances.”

In its petition, Keystone Releaf claims the permit process was “flawed, inequitable, and unconstitutional.” It says the Health Department waived certain requirements for some applicants and not others. For

Keystone Releaf sent an incomplete application and therefore missed the deadline, but another company was allowed to submit after the deadline because its application was destroyed in the mail.

“Seek whatever relief they think is appropriate, but do not attempt to shut down the entire program,” Leach said. “That would be nonsensical. It would be cruel. It would be heartless, and we are asking them not to do that.”

The Health Department has 30 days to respond to the petition.

The attorney handling the case, Seth Tipton of Florio Perrucci Steinhardt &Fader, did not return our request for comment.

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