The state is in the process of revoking a medical marijuana cultivation license because the company hasn’t made “a good faith effort” to get its facility built and ready to grow.
OhiGrow LLC, which had proposed a small-scale grow site in northwest Toledo, has the right to appeal.
“We found them to be generally non-responsive,” Mark Hamlin, senior policy advisor at Commerce, told the program’s advisory committee on Thursday.
The company is wholly owned by Carl Boyar, a Chicago-area physician who owns a marijuana dispensary there. I left a message seeking comment.
OhiGrow bought the site with an existing pole barn in April for $290,000, according to property records. Hamlin said it has made little progress on construction.
“They wanted to change their site proposal in a way that was significantly different from their application,” he said. “We tried to give them every opportunity to communicate with us through the process. The expectations were communicated to them throughout.”
The Ohio Department of Commerce issued 12 provisional licenses in November for the small cultivators of up to 3,000 square feet, and a few weeks later licensed 12 large operations of up to 25,000 square feet of growing space.
All of them were supposed to be ready to start operating in August. Only two of each size were.
Most of the rest have been granted extensions. The agency still is working with one large and one small cultivator to determine if they are making enough progress to warrant an extension, Hamlin said.
Two more operation certificates were issued this week, a large site in Muskingum County and small one in Butler County.
If the batch of inspections scheduled this month are successful, there would be a total of 13 ready to grow, Hamlin said.
Another large cultivator first received its license in May, and a small one in July, making a total of 26. They have nine months from those dates to get operational.
Commerce in August issued a provisional processing license for the same address as OhiGrow, 367 E. State Line Road in Toledo, to Ohio Green Grow LLC. The industrial site is less than 500 feet from Michigan. It’s not clear if the companies have the same ownership, but consolidating horticulture and extraction in one site is a common practice in the industry. I’ve asked the agency how the processing license may be affected by lack of a cultivator.
Also Thursday, state Auditor Dave Yost issued the findings from his office’s review of troubles in the application and licensure process for cultivators. Most of the cybersecurity and scoring error problems have already been hashed out publicly.
What’s new in the report is the auditor saying that Commerce lacked the authority to issue the new licenses in May and July. The rules that the agency drew up to implement the law capped the number of licenses in each category to 12.
The agency responded to Yost that courts already have upheld its authority to issue the new licenses under a different provision in the rules allowing it to “exercise any other power or duty.”