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Limited Number of Applicants to Receive Medical Marijuana Cultivator License

Published: Apr 25, 2017 by John Izzo

The Ohio Department of Commerce has released applications for medical marijuana cultivator licenses. A webinar will be posted on May 1, 2017 to go over the application process and instructions. The Department will accept questions via e-mail through May 5 regarding the application form and instructions. On May 12, the Department will provide clarification for all questions that had been asked. A second round of questions will be accepted from May 15 through May 19. These questions will be answered May 26.

Level II applications (for up to 3,000 square feet) will be accepted from June 5 to June 16, 2017. Level I applications (for up to 25,000 square feet) will be accepted from June 19 to June 30, 2017. Initially, only twelve Level I and twelve Level II licenses will be issued. Because of the high number of applications expected, the Department prefers applicants schedule a time to deliver their applications. Appointments will only be taken for Level II applicants.

The non-refundable application fee is $20,000.00 for Level I applicants and $2,000.00 for Level II applicants. The Department indicated information on an application is a public record, unless the information is a trade secret.

The Department will review all submitted applications in two rounds. The first round will determine whether the applicant meets the mandatory qualification criteria set forth in the rules. Non-qualifiers will have their applications disqualified. The second round is a review by a panel. The panel will not know whose application they are reviewing. Scores will be based on the quality of the response. A maximum score of 100 is possible. No applicant will receive a provisional license if their score is below 60. Scores on different sections of the application will be weighted. For example, the operations plan is the most important and accounts for 35% of the total available points. The financial plan is less important, and accounts for less than 13% of the points.

It is unknown when the Department will disclose the results of the review panels.

In other medical marijuana news, the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Commerce developed a list of pesticides approved for use by licensed medical marijuana cultivators. No pesticides are currently approved at the federal level for use on cannabis, so research was conducted on pesticides approved by other states for use in the cultivation of medical marijuana. As a result, the Ohio Department of Agriculture now has a list of approved pesticides for use on cannabis.

The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy filed patient and caregiver rules with the Common Sense Initiative Office. Comments will be taken on these rules through May 5, 2017.

If you have any questions about medical marijuana in Ohio, including the application and licensing process or how to comment on the proposed rules, you should consider contacting an attorney at Graff & McGovern. John Izzo of Graff & McGovern can be reached at 614-228-5800, extension 5.