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Growers of medical marijuana in Ohio entangled in lawsuit

Although Ohio has passed laws legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, this doesn't mean the process of implementing such laws has run smoothly. Issues have arisen regarding the licensure of marijuana growers, that may impact when such businesses can begin operations.

A lawsuit in Ohio may halt some growers of medical marijuana from being able to begin operation. The lawsuit requests that the Ohio Commerce Department not certify 12 marijuana growers who currently have provisional licenses. The growers are required to have their businesses go through an inspection and receive certification to do grow medical marijuana in Ohio, which will then be sold at a licensed dispensary.

However, large growers of medical marijuana may not be able to even have the plant on their premises until appeals brought by applicants who did not receive licenses are resolved. These applicants requested provisional licenses from the Ohio Commerce Department, but were denied. Legally, Ohio can only issue 12 licenses to large growers (Level I licenses). The state can also issue 12 licenses to small growers (Level II licenses). As of right now, those who were denied a Level I license have not had an appeal hearing.

It remains to be seen how this lawsuit will play out, but unfortunately there is the possibility that it could delay the legal cultivation and sale of medical marijuana in Ohio. This would be detrimental both to the businesses growing medical marijuana, the businesses selling marijuana and ultimately those who are ill and are depending on medical marijuana for relief from their symptoms. This may be a bump in the road towards making medical marijuana available in Ohio, but hopefully it is one that can be overcome.

Source: Cincinnati.com, "Ohio's medical marijuana program could be blunted by judge's ruling," Randy Tucker, May 14, 2018

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