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Update on Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program?

Published: Jul 06, 2018 by John Izzo

There has been great improvement in the Medical Marijuana Control Program since June 1, 2018, but it will not be fully operational on time.

The list of physicians with the ability to recommend medical cannabis continues to grow. The State Medical Board of Ohio expects over 200 by September 2018. There is a process in place for physicians to register patients in the Pharmacy Board’s database.

Over the course of the past 30 days, there is now a cultivator who has permission to grow medical cannabis. There are also two approved laboratories to test the cannabis that is grown. Fifty-six provisional dispensary licenses were issued, so registered patients will have a place to obtain medical cannabis.

There are still problems with the program. There are no licensed processors to take the plant product and make it into an acceptable form to be sold at the dispensary. No one can confirm when medical cannabis will be available to patients. This writer is unsure where participants in the program will be banking.

A case is still pending in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, which will determine if it was legal for the Legislature to set aside 4 cultivator licenses for economically disadvantaged groups. The outcome of this case will affect the 9 dispensary licensees that were also set aside for economically disadvantaged groups.

While 56 provisional dispensary licenses were issued on June 4, 2018, 320 applications were denied. Each applicant has the right to a hearing to prove that it should have received a provisional application. Due to the volume of denials, the Pharmacy Board stated it would take several weeks for all notices of denial to be issued.

Unsuccessful applicants only have 30 days from the date of mailing to request a hearing. The failure to request a hearing guarantees an application denial, and does not allow the applicant to collaterally attack the process in Court. Even if an applicant is unsure about challenging the denial, a hearing should be requested to preserve the right. After the 30 days are up, the right to an administrative hearing is no longer available.

If you have concerns about the denial of your dispensary application, you should talk with an attorney at Graff & McGovern. John Izzo can be reached at or 614-228-5800, extension 5.