Ohio is expanding its medical cannabis cultivation program to help alleviate shortages that have resulted from the state’s new medical marijuana law.
Ohio has expanded its medical cannabis cultivation amid shortages. The state is looking to grow more than double the amount of cannabis it currently produces. Read more in detail here: aphria.
The Ohio Department of Commerce said Wednesday that medicinal marijuana growers who have followed all laws and regulations may now seek authorization to increase their grow area.
The increase comes as the Buckeye State prepares to more than quadruple the number of dispensaries after a grower, Fire Rock Ltd., filed a lawsuit against the state for failing to act on its request to expand in February 2020.
A Commerce Department spokesman told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “This decision comes after a review of various program criteria, including patient program participation and the Board of Pharmacy’s upcoming call for additional dispensary license applications.”
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Fire Rock and many other small-scale producers have been seeking an expansion, claiming that they were constantly selling out of goods although the state had already increased the number of licenses beyond the original 24. Because the Commerce Department refused to act on Fire Rock’s request, the firm filed a lawsuit.
The agency was compelled to issue a ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court. The proposal was denied because the FDA believed growth was premature and that there was a “sufficient program-wide supply” of cannabis, which was not the case. The attraction of Fire Rock was strong.
The matter may be irrelevant now, following the news on Wednesday that 73 additional dispensaries would be chosen.
More dispensaries are on the way.
While the state works on a regulation that would enable current dispensaries to adapt their buildings with drive-through windows, new dispensaries will be permitted to include them in their bids.
This follows the relaxation of certain regulations in April 2020 in order to keep employees and patients safe throughout the pandemic.
On September 20, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy will announce the new allocation mechanism it will use. The aim is to have approximately 1,200 registered patients per dispensary in each of the state’s dispensary districts. As a result, Ohio will have more dispensaries per capita than Pennsylvania.
Weed is already being supplied to Ohio dispensaries by public cannabis companies.
Jushi Holdings Inc. (CSE: JUSH) (OTCQX: JUSHF) recently bought Franklin Bioscience OH, LLC, an Ohio-licensed medical cannabis processor, and OhiGrow, LLC in July.
Verano Holdings Corp. (CSE: VRNO) (OTCQX: VRNOF) purchased its fifth dispensary in Ohio in July.
Cresco Labs (CSE: CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF), which has the state’s largest growing license (25,000 square feet), a full processing facility, and the most retail shops, provides cannabis flower and products to 88 percent of Ohio’s dispensaries.
However, it is insufficient.