Ohio growers plant the seeds for medical cannabis launch

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Newly licensed cultivators in Ohio just started putting seeds in the ground, providing additional proof that a launch to the state’s medical marijuana program is still months away.

Buckeye Relief, one of three cultivators that have been given the green light to start growing, told The Enquirer of Cincinnati that it planted its first seeds on July 31.

It will still take four to six months for those plants to reach maturity, and then they will need to be processed into MMJ products.

Another potential bottleneck could come with products waiting to be tested.

Ohio was supposed to have launched its medical cannabis program by Sept. 8, but state officials acknowledged that won’t happen.

The sign that the program is within two months of having products on store shelves will be when Ohio starts its online medical marijuana patient registry.

The registry’s timing is related to the state’s affirmative defense clause that currently protects from prosecution unregistered patients who obtain marijuana from other states.

That protection expires 60 days after the patient registry for Ohio’s legal MMJ industry is up and running.