August 23, 2017 Ohio
To develop its seed-to-sale medical marijuana tracking system and online licensing system, the state of Ohio has awarded contracts totaling more than $1.75 million to two vendors. In short, the vendors have been contracted to help grow Ohio’s medical marijuana program. In addition to these two contracts, the state of Ohio will award a third contract for video monitoring of thousand cameras watching the entire marijuana system at some point in the future.
On Tuesday, August 22nd, The Ohio Department of Commerce, the body responsible for the supervision of the medical marijuana program, revealed that it competitively selected Metrc, a Franwell company based in Lakeland, Florida, to set up the ‘seed-to-sale- program’. Bids were submitted by five companies but the Ohio Department of Commerce awarded the contract worth $1.2 million to develop and build the digital tracking infrastructure of the program to the company from Florida. The system will monitor the entire process, from when growers buy marijuana seeds, through the cultivation, processing, testing and sale of medical marijuana.
In addition to the $1.2 million contract awarded to Metrc, the state also awarded a contract worth $573,600 to Persistent Systems Inc., a national company with an office in Dublin. The company has been awarded the contract to handle the design, development and implementation of licenses for marijuana cultivators, processors, testing laboratories and their employees. Apart from Persistent Systems Inc, three other companies submitted bids to win the contract.
House Bill 523, an Ohio law approved last year by state lawmakers and signed by governor John Kasich, permits people with twenty-one medical conditions, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s diseases and cancer to buy and use marijuana after being prescribed to do so by a doctor. However, the drug can only be consumed in vaporized form which means that smoking it is prohibited. Moreover, only caregivers and people with approved medical cards from the state will be allowed to buy marijuana, and they can buy a 90-day supply at one time. The law will be implemented in September 2018.
At this point of time, the medical marijuana program of Ohio has an operating budget of nearly $9.8 million. This includes money from the biennial state budget and two loans authorized by the Office of the Budget and Management. The figures were revealed in the financial documents released last week. The expected income from the program, via a variety of employee licenses and application fees, is $2.3 million.
The full set of the marijuana dispensary maps was released by the state last week. The maps break down the state into four quadrants, with sixty dispensaries allocated around the state. The breakdown largely favors the urban areas. The breakdown is as such: five dispensaries each are allocated to the Franklin and Cuyahoga Counties while Scioto, Lawrence, Gallia, Jackson, Lake, Geauga and Portage counties get one dispensary each.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]