Auditor Yost Calls on Commerce Department to Suspend Issuance of Marijuana Cultivator Licenses

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Columbus – Auditor of State Dave Yost today called on the Commerce Department to suspend the issuance of Level 1 cultivator's licenses for medical marijuana following media reports that one of the application graders was a convicted drug dealer.

Media reports state that Trevor C. Bozeman, one of three consultants hired by the Department of Commerce to evaluate and grade applications for the licenses, pled guilty in 2005 to possession with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance in Pennsylvania.

“This is an epic failure.  I am outraged,” said Yost, a former county prosecutor.  “The only proper course of action is to freeze the process, and independently review the evaluation and scoring from the ground up.  And the Administration needs to explain how this drug dealer ended up telling the government how to run its fledgling medical marijuana program.

Without such assurances, the entire program is tainted, Yost said.

Yost has directed his staff to seek additional information to determine whether there were errors made during the selection of those hired to review applications and whether any hiring errors impacted the grading of the license applications.

“We can't wait for a rear-view mirror audit,” Yost added. “The Commerce Department needs to act today before this train leaves the station.”

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The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies.  Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.

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