Ohio’s medical marijuana budget swelled to $11 million after state regulators received approval to spend an additional $6 million over the next two years, including the purchase of a seed-to-sale tracking system.
The funding for the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program is on top of the previously approved $5 million.
The largest sum of the money is earmarked for a seed-to-sale system, which can cost well over $6 million.
Ohio neighbor Pennsylvania agreed in April on a $10 million MMJ traceability contract with Denver-based MJ Freeway.
Ohio’s MMJ program will repay the state using revenues from licensing fees, officials say.
Regulators are also seeking funding for:
- A toll-free helpline.
- Anticipated legal costs responding to lawsuits and complaints challenging the state’s licensing process.
MMJ program officials say they may later ask for funds to set up a payment system that would allow noncash payments between marijuana businesses, patients and state vendors.
Cannabis businesses can be hampered by the unwillingness of banks to participate in transactions that remain illegal under federal law.
Ohio’s MMJ program is expected to be up and running by September 2018.
– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily