State officials: Ohio's Medicinal Marijuana Program Won't Be Ready by Deadline

Delays in inspections and licenses for growers mean Ohio won't make a Sept. 8 deadline for implementation of the 2016 law legalizing medicinal marijuana, state officials say

Officials with the Ohio Department of Commerce today admitted that the state will not be ready to roll out its medicinal marijuana program by a previously-stated Sept. 8 deadline. 

After lawmakers passed a law legalizing medicinal marijuana in 2016, Ohio officials last November licensed 25 growers across the state to cultivate marijuana for medicinal use. None have begun planting crops yet, however, because they haven't received the necessary state certifications to do so. And only one — Pure Ohio Wellness LLC — has received a required state inspection. That leaves little time to begin the planting, processing and packaging needed so that medicinal weed will be available at dispensaries by the deadline. License holders for those dispensaries were named yesterday.

The state says that three smaller growers are set for inspections this month and that five larger growers and one additional small grower will be inspected in July, clearing the way to issue certificates of operation that will allow growers to plant their crops.

"We know that patients in Ohio circled that date on their calendars and we don’t take that lightly,” Mark Hamlin of the Ohio Department of Commerce said today

Department of Commerce officials blame the delay on weather and construction setbacks. The delay also comes after a variety of controversies, scoring errors and legal challenges around the way the state awarded medicinal marijuana licenses.



Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.