COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio has licensed 56 locations that can sell medical marijuana once it becomes legal this fall.
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy on Monday awarded those provisional dispensary licenses that give the stores six months to meet state operation requirements. A total of 376 applications were received.
The Columbus locations include:
- Greenleaf Apothecaries – 111 Vine Street
- 127 OH – 1361 Georgesville Road
- Cannamed Therapeutics – 656 Grandview Avenue
- Verdant Creations – Cassady Avenue
- Harvest of Ohio – 2950 N. High St.
The executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association of Ohio, Thomas Rosenberger, says the board has ended months of speculation about where patients will be able to get medical marijuana. He said the program will grow over time. “The nice part about Ohio’s program is while you may not have gotten a license today, the program’s going to continue to grow over the next few years and more licenses are going to be awarded at some point in the future,” Rosenberger said.
Three of 31 geographic districts won’t have dispensaries. They either received no applications or had no qualifying applicant.
Ohio’s 2016 medical marijuana law says the program must begin Sept. 8.
Kelley Mottola, owner of an indoor gardening supply store in Hilliard, applied for a dispensary license. “It was a lot of work to show them that we knew what we were wanting to do and prove to them that we were capable of doing it,” Mottola said.
Mottola was not awarded one of the licenses. She says she spent about $10,000 on the process but that it became evident along the way that she was up against some big time money. “We did the entire application ourselves and I know a lot of other groups used consulting firms which could cost them in the neighborhood of $50,000 to $100,000 minimum,” Mottola said.
Tim Johnson, Associate Founder of the Ohio Cannabis Chamber of Commerce said the businesses will be strictly regulated and companies with experience are better positioned to handle that. “Those that are established in other states that have experience in the industry with their discipline seem to be the ones being awarded the licenses,” Johnson said.
Also Monday, the board launched a toll-free medical marijuana help-line for patients, caregivers and health professionals. The number is 833-464-6627.