Did California city break its own laws scoring marijuana dispensary applications?

While Pasadena’s most prominent retail cannabis controversies have centered on technical details and surprise application requirements for the city’s top six applicants, a more fundamental question is making its way through the courts: Did the city abide by its own procedures when choosing the best contenders?

Instead of using three scorers — each meant to independently judge a single application and provide three separate scores that would later be totaled and averaged, per city law — documents from a city consultant indicate only one person scored each application.

Critics, including two City Council members, say the requirement was meant to insulate the city’s cannabis application process from undue biases and disproportionate influence from a single person; losing that safeguard may have threatened the integrity of the entire venture, they argue.