Ohio-Grown Medicinal Marijuana Likely Ready for Testing by Year's End; More News

The only large-scale grower so far given a certificate of operation by the state of Ohio says it will have product ready for testing before the end of the year.

Ohio-Grown Medicinal Marijuana Likely Ready for Testing by Year's End; More News
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Hello all. Here’s a quick rundown of the week’s news to take you into the weekend.

An 11-year-old who was Tased by an off-duty police officer working security at a grocery store won’t face charges for stealing food and obstructing official business, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters confirmed Wednesday after a request from Mayor John Cranley. But Fraternal Order of Police Dan Hils says that’s not the right path to take, and that CPD officer Kevin Brown was following procedure when he Tased the girl for walking away from him instead of stopping as he asked her to. You can read our full story on the incident here.

• After an order from Hamilton County Judge Robert Ruehlman effectively outlawed tent cities throughout the county, a camp that started under Fort Washington Way has moved yet again to private property in Over-the-Rhine. You can read all about the ongoing game of cat and mouse between camp inhabitants and city officials in our feature story here.

• The city of Cincinnati's Department of Transportation and Engineering yesterday issued its guidelines for the use of electronic scooters, including those rentable Bird scooters that have become so ubiquitous downtown. Wanna know what you need to do on your Bird to stay in line with city recommendations? Click away on our story here.

• So, why didn’t the Southwest Ohio Transit Authority opt to ask Hamilton County voters for a sales tax levy last month, even though the city currently handles most of the funding burden for SORTA’s bus service and the agency faces a multi-million-dollar deficit? Turns out the levy was likely to lose at the ballot in November. Another idea that tied bus funding to road repair would likely have won over voters by a large margin, but it seemed to be on shaky ground logistically. The Business Courier has the full story here.

• The scuttled levy didn’t sit well with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, apparently. During an email exchange obtained by The Cincinnati Enquirer, CEO Jill Meyer gave Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune — an ardent opponent of the SORTA tax levy due to his own designs for a regional transit system — an electronic earful about a statement Portune made calling for the county to lead on transit issues.

"We have attempted to engage you at every stage of this work,” Meyer told Portune in the email exchange. “You have chosen to keep your efforts separate. To pretend now that the county needs to come in and start a conversation that is already underway is dubious at best. “ Dang.

• It’s official-ish: barring surprises in a recount, Republican Troy Balderson is the next representative for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. But a funny thing happened on the way to Balderson’s razor-thin victory over his Democratic opponent Danny O’Connor in the special election to replace Rep. Pat Tiberi: poll workers “discovered” some 588 extra votes. A cartridge that holds electronic records of votes from a voting booth in Franklin County was overlooked, according to election officials, and wasn’t counted until after results were released. The extra votes moved the needle a little closer in O’Connor’s favor, bringing him within 1,564 votes of Balderson. O’Connor will get another shot at Balderson in November in the general election.

• It is taking longer than originally anticipated for the state of Ohio to ramp up its medicinal marijuana program, which was supposed to be up and running by September. That’s not going to happen, but Ohio-grown medicinal marijuana will likely be ready for testing by the end of the year, according to a report by the Hamilton Journal-News. But there is still a long way to go. Only three of the 26 growers the state has tapped have actually received their operations certificates, which allow them to begin planting. Only one of those growers, Buckeye Relief LLC, is one of the upper-tier growers who can pump out a lot of product. They say they planted in July and will have product ready for trials by December.

• This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where anti-racist protester Heather Heyer was killed. Her accused killer and others who allegedly committed violence at the rally have a number of local ties. Now, rally organizer and white nationalist Jason Kessler has organized another Unite the Right event in Washington, D.C. this weekend, and that’s raised plenty of alarms from many across the political spectrum. Black Lives Matter and other groups plan to hold a counter-rally about a mile from the Unite the Right event. Here’s an interesting essay in The Atlantic about the state of the alt-right one year out from Charlottesville. Meanwhile, closer to home, as the anniversary approaches, one of Cincinnati’s oldest church has decided to finally remove a plaque and some stained glass dedicated to Confederate generals. Removal of Confederate statues was a trigger for the original "Unite the Right" event. You can read more about the church's decision in this Cincinnati Enquirer story.

• Finally, if you have some time to do some weekend reading, you should sit down with our cover story this week about Immigration and Customs Enforcement in suburban Cincinnati, and the effect recent deportations have had on local immigrant families. While workplace raids in northern Ohio and family separations at the U.S. border have gotten a lot of press, the impact of new “zero tolerance” immigration policies has hit very close to home here.

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