The Maine Department of Health and Human Services panel that picked certain medical marijuana dispensary applications over others provided too little evidence to justify its choices, according to a recent court decision that has added a measure of uncertainty to the process.

The ruling means the four-person panel must review the entire dispensary approval process for York, Hancock and Washington counties and produce more evidence justifying its decisions, which were appealed in Franklin Superior Court in Farmington.

Justice MaryGay Kennedy ordered the review last week.

It’s still unclear what impact the review could have on dispensaries that are already growing marijuana for patients.

Dispensaries in Biddeford and Whitneyville are already operating based on the approvals now facing review.

Catherine Cobb, director of Health and Human Services’ Licensing and Regulatory Division, said it’s speculative to comment on what could happen if the panel’s decisions are overturned.

The dispensary approval panel and other officials will be meeting soon with the Maine Attorney General’s Office to discuss the next step, Cobb said.

“The department’s position on the case is that we have provided adequate documentation to support the decisions,” she said in a phone interview.

Today’s Herbal Care, a medical marijuana group that applied unsuccessfully to open a dispensary, filed the appeal that Justice Kennedy upheld June 8.

Luke Sirois of Today’s Herbal Care said in a phone interview that the decision acknowledges that mistakes were made during the application process.

“I am extremely confident that DHHS did not even read my application,” said Sirois, 31, of Rangeley.

“The DHHS had a 4-member review panel that read, discussed and scored the 39 applications,” Cobb wrote in an email, responding to questions about how applications were reviewed.

Kennedy’s decision focused on the panel’s one-page score sheet that awarded points based on everything from features of the proposed building to the applicants’ experience.

“The sheet merely recites the numerical scores for each applicant in each of the criterion areas. It does not, as is required by the guidelines, explain the basis for each applicant’s score,” the decision says.

There is no evidence, Kennedy added, to support DHHS claims that the panel discussed the applications and then agreed by consensus on the points displayed on the score sheet.

Gregory Braun, the attorney representing Sirois, said the appeal seeks to overturn the panel’s decisions and begin the entire application process over. Braun said the panel will have to produce more evidence to support its decisions to avoid further action by the court.

“It puts the awarded licenses in a bit of jeopardy,” Braun said, referring to the court-ordered review.

Maine has approved one medical marijuana dispensary in each of eight public health districts, which form a statewide dispensary system, according to the Health and Human Services website.

The appeal is for decisions on applications for district one, which is York County, and for district seven, which includes Hancock and Washington counties.

Canuvo Inc. was approved for district one, with its dispensary location in Biddeford. The group’s representative, Glenn Peterson, was at a conference Friday and could not be reached.

Thirty-nine applicants filed to open dispensaries in the two districts, spending $15,000 each to be part of the process, according to Cobb.

Dispensaries can have up to six flowering marijuana plants for each patient, and all eight state-approved dispensaries are growing marijuana, she said.