The fate of a medical marijuana dispensary permit relinquished last week in Shamokin is unknown at this time.
On Friday, Harvest of North Central PA LLC, which had finished building its Northumberland County facility at 520 N. Shamokin St., Shamokin, and Harvest of Northwest PA LLC in New Castle, Lawrence County, relinquished its permits awarded in December 2018. A settlement agreement prevents Harvest and the state Department of Health (DOH) from commenting on the matter any further.
The companies came under scrutiny because they switched general contractors without seeking permission from the state and appeared to operate more than five permits allowed by the state under one single entity, according to the DOH.
Judith Cassel, a legal counsel with Cannabis Law PA who does not represent Harvest or DOH, said DOH has discretion on whether to reissue the permits to the company with the second-highest score or to put the licenses out to rebid. She said hasn’t heard what DOH intends to do.
“We counsel all our clients to get DOH approval prior to doing anything different than what is proposed in the application,” said Cassel. “We understand that DOH bases their decision on those applications.”
The Department of Health said in an announcement on Friday that Harvest violated regulatory requirements by giving the public appearance of operating six permittees under one single entity and by using a construction contractor not identified in the permit applications without notifying or seeking approval for the substitution. One single entity can hold no more than five permits per person, but each entity used some form of the Harvest name and affiliate Harvest Health and Recreation Inc. made statements that gave the public appearance that all permittees were one single entity, DOH said.
To avoid prolonged legal action, Harvest and