DHSS Appeal to be Heard by MO Supreme Court
07 October 2021
On October 5, the Department of Health and Senior Services’ requested transfer of its appeal regarding application confidentiality to the Missouri Supreme Court was granted.
The Department sought to transfer a May appellate court decision that ordered the Department to comply with a directive from AHC Commissioner Renee T. Slusher which requires the Department to produce documentation from Missouri medical marijuana license applications.
The Administrative Hearing Commission had previously granted a motion to compel the Department to produce documents related to winning license applicants. That ruling, that an applicant, Kings Garden, could request and review applications with a limited scope – questions where the applicant did not receive full points – as part of the discovery process in their administrative appeals, was affirmed by the circuit court and later the appellate court.
The Department had appealed the decision of Circuit Court Judge John Beetem, which had quashed a preliminary writ of prohibition and denied the Department’s petition for a permanent writ of prohibition.
The appellate court had affirmed Judge Beetem’s decision, writing in it’s ruling:
“To interpret Section 1.3(5) as not allowing the discovery of information from the successful applications in the appeals process would lead to the unreasonable and absurd result that unsuccessful applicants pursuing an appeal – and, in turn, the AHC and the courts – would be denied access to information that was an integral part of the Department’s decision to deny their applications. Without all of the information that formed the basis of the Department’s decision, no meaningful review of that decision can occur,” reads part of the judgment handed down by the Appellate Court.”
Appellate Court says DHSS will be required to disclose applications to the courts
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