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3 rejected medical marijuana growers push appeals in Utah

FILE - In this May 20, 2019, file photo photo head of cultivation at Loving Kindness Farms Jason Roberts checks one of his marijuana plants in a grow room wearing green lights not to wake them wake them during their night cycle in Gardena, Calif. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Three companies rejected as medical marijuana growers in Utah are continuing to protest the state’s decision to award a smaller number of licenses.

The state’s Division of Purchasing said Thursday that companies Pure UT, Total Health Sciences and JLPR are appealing the agency’s decision to reject their complaints to the state Procurement Policy Board.

To file the appeal, companies had to post a $20,000 bond, which is lost if the complaint is dismissed.

Utah had dismissed appeals from six companies that were denied licenses, and three of those are renewing their objections.

Some applicants have said Utah is granting licenses to unqualified cultivators and will create a cannabis shortage.

State agriculture officials have said they awarded eight licenses despite the law allowing up to 10 growers to avoid an oversupply of marijuana.