Companies awarded cultivation licenses as part of Ohio’s medical marijuana program had nine months to get up and running under the terms of their provisional licenses. Demonstrating how difficult compliance with Ohio’s cannabis program can be for smaller businesses, Mother Grows Best, a small-scale cultivator located in Canton, may lose its provisional cultivation license because of delays in launching its operations. The Ohio Department of Commerce, which licenses our medical marijuana industry’s testing laboratories, cultivators and processing companies, turned down the Toled-based company’s request for an extension.
Mother Grows Best is not alone, says the Canton Repository. OhiGrow LLC, a small operator also dealing with delays, also got a “no” from the Department of Commerce when the company requested an extension (though records show that other companies did receive extensions).
Mother Grows Best also won a provisional dispensary license from the State, beating out nearly 20 other applicants in the Canton area. They had planned to sell mainly their own products in their dispensary, along with a few other brands. According to Ohio’s dispensary regulations, licensed marijuana sellers in Ohio are forbidden from importing marijuana or cannabis products from outside the Buckeye State.
Ohio’s medical marijuana program was supposed make medical cannabis products available to Ohio patients on September 18th of 2018. However, issues with a large new and untested bureaucracy and several legal challenges meant that the first legal cannabis crop wasn’t planted until August and the first legally-produced THC products won’t be available until December at the earliest. Many companies still aren’t up and running, including 13 provisional processors, five provisional testing labs and 56 provisional dispensaries.
Physicians certified by the State of Ohio’s program may recommend medical marijuana only for the treatment of a “qualifying medical condition.” The current approved list of 26 physical and mental conditions includes AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable, Parkinson’s disease, positive status for HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and ulcerative colitis.