Information regarding the progress of the Ohio Medical Marijuana Program
Certificates of operation
A few cultivators have harvested or started harvesting plants, but only 14 of 27 have the certificate of operation needed to start growing.
No standalone or vertically integrated processors, testing labs or dispensaries have received the final go-ahead. Four cultivators have plant-only processing certificates and two are finalizing their applications, Francis said.
“So they will be able to sell plant materials directly to the dispensaries after it’s been tested by a testing lab,” she said.
Two testing labs have final inspections scheduled in mid-December. Francis said patients might see a limited supply of plant material at first followed by a quick industry “ramp up.”
“Shortly after the new year, we’ll start seeing the quantity and the variety increasing,” she said.
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy did not have a tally of people registered for a medical cannabis card late last week.
“The registry is our big news of the week, and we’re very excited about it,” said Grant Miller, medical marijuana patient and caregiver liaison.
Because no dispensaries or products are ready, however, there is no rush to register. Miller said only one dispensary has had a final inspection, and a compliance agent still was assessing the results.
The registration process itself should be relatively short, he said. A physician, who must be state certified to recommend medical cannabis, puts a qualifying patient or caregiver into the system.
Once the physician creates the profile, an email is sent to the patient or caregiver, who can then click on a link to activate and pay for their card. The annual cost is $50 for patients and $25 for caregivers, with discounts for people who are indigent or veterans.
The cards are digital and can be downloaded or printed, Miller said.
The medical board activated the registry since it appears product will be on dispensary shelves before long. The ability to use a physician’s written recommendation as a defense from prosecution expires 60 days after the registry opens.
“As for a specific date, that’s something we do not have,” Miller said.