First medical marijuana dispensary in Ohio could open in next few weeks

Medical cannabis is expected to go on sale in Ohio later this month, perhaps as soon as the week of Jan. 14, according to an official at the marijuana firm Cresco Labs.

Spokesman Jason Erkes said the company is ready to open the state’s first dispensary in Wintersville in eastern Ohio once the initial batches of cannabis are tested.

He said an Ohio laboratory facility is expected to be ready to accept the first commercial MJ product toward the end of next week, and the testing process itself can be done in as little as 48 hours.

Cresco, he noted, is preparing for a large crowd but should have ample supply in the first couple of weeks.

Erkes said the company also could benefit from its experience in opening the first dispensary in Pennsylvania, and he expects a smooth rollout for its first MMJ store in Ohio.

“Close to 200 people showed up on our first day in Pennsylvania, and that was in rural Pennsylvania,” Erkes said. “We fully expect those types of crowds (in Ohio as well).”

Initially, only flower will be sold in Ohio, but then concentrates and infused products will be offered as processors, including Cresco, receive their final OK from the state to start operations.

The Buckeye State has banned smoking marijuana, but the flower can be vaped by patients.

Ohio was to have its MMJ program operational by Sept. 8, but the state has run into a number of delays.

Kerry Francis, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Commerce, wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily that the regulatory framework is now in place and the launch date is “dependent on the private businesses.”

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