It appears Ohio is having some difficulty scrounging up enough reputable cannabis companies to produce a variety of pot products for the state’s medical marijuana program. The Ohio Department of Commerce recently issued its first round of processor licenses, approving only 7 out of 104 applicants. The state says the majority of the businesses interested in producing marijuana–infused oils and treats did not meet the minimum requirements. So now, it’s back to drawing board.
This means there are still several opportunities for stand-up cannabis operations to get in on the ground floor of the Buckeye bud scene. The state is permitted to grant 40 processor licenses during the initial round. The approved processors will be responsible for manufacturing and distributing cannabis-infused brownies, creams, patches and other non smokable forms of the herb to local dispensaries.
Reports indicate it is possible that six more applicants could be given the green light if their background and tax checks come back clean. Some of the failed applicants will also be given another chance to re-apply.
This licensing snag is just another in a cluster of missed opportunities. Ohio’s medical marijuana program has been struggling to get off the ground since voters slapped it with their seal of approval in November 2016. One cannabis entrepreneur even threatened to take legal action against the state last year for dragging its feet on the licensing process. But, even with the potential for lawsuits, the situation did not improve.
Just two months ago, state officials confirmed that the medical marijuana program would not be launched at the beginning of September like it was supposed to be. Incidentally, this is the cutoff for when the law mandates the program be “fully operational.”
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