June 06, 2018, Ohio
Yesterday, MMJ regulators in Ohio announced the names of dispensaries succeeded in acquiring the license. Out of 376 applicants, only 57 have been allowed to operate as of now. MMJ law of the state allows the regulators to award licenses to 60 dispensaries in 28 different regions. Board has approved just 57 because no dispensary application came from two regions. Many stakeholders have already raised their concern about the procedure of licensing.
Crises are not new for Ohio in connection with medical cannabis. From the beginning, the medical cannabis program in Ohio has been witnessing different issues. For instance, one cannabis company CannAscend threatened in the past to sue the regulators on the shady process of dispensing MMJ licenses. The company applied for the cultivation license. According to the company’s CEO, the regulators are awarding the licenses to cannabis ventures with inside connections.
Medical marijuana program of Ohio allows patients to consume cannabis in non-smoking form. This means all the newly licensed won’t be able to sell cannabis flowers. However, they will be able to medical cannabis in the form of topicals, edibles, oil extracts and concentrates. Moreover, vaping paraphernalia will also be available in the dispensaries. Ohio allows the therapeutic use of cannabis for around two dozen medical conditions.
While licenses have been awarded to the respective dispensaries, MMJ patients in the state still have to wait for few months to get their medications from new locations. All the newly licensed MMJ dispensaries will be operational from 8 September. Patients will need to present their MMJ card along with physician’s recommendation for any of the qualifying condition to purchase medical cannabis products.
It is important to note that not every physician is eligible to write MMJ recommendations. Physicians interested in dealing with MMJ patients have to register themselves with the State’s medical board. For now, the state has sanctioned 89 physicians to make cannabis recommendations.
Many physicians remain reluctant to register in MMJ programs because of the fear of federal action against them. Federal administration has the authority to revoke the licenses of physicians involved in making MMJ recommendations.
There are Still Some Issues
Even after issuing licenses to dispensaries in 26 regions, experts have noticed that majority of the MMJ locations are present in the Southwestern part of the state, the area which borders with two other states.
Moreover, the state has yet to award licenses to MMJ processing facilities. For now, regulators have only issued licenses to cultivation and retail ventures. Processing is an important link between cultivation and retail sector. No cultivated product can be marketed without the necessary processing outlined in the law.
With this poor licensing schedule, how it would be possible for the administration to devise fully-sustained MMJ operations in the state? As per the medical cannabis board’s spokesperson, they are going to award licenses to over 40 processing facilities in near future. In addition, the state will also allow some labs to carry out research on the therapeutic aspects of the strain.
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]