Ohio medical marijuana businesses unlikely to meet opening deadline

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Many of Ohio’s medical cannabis dispensaries, product manufacturers and cultivation facilities will not be up and running by the Sept. 8 deadline mandated by state law, as state regulators seek to lower expectations for the MMJ program’s rollout.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, state regulators said during Thursday’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee meeting that some dispensaries will have limited products on the shelves Sept. 8, but the program won’t be fully operational.

“We will be operational, but we have to temper our view of what this program is going to look like on day one,” said Department of Commerce Director Jacqueline Williams, whose agency regulates cultivators, processors and testing labs.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Ohio law allows for the licensing of 24 cultivators, 40 processors and 57 medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • The 24 MMJ cultivators received their licenses last November, but none have started growing cannabis.
  • Regulators released new licensing timelines for processors (June), testing labs (early May) and dispensaries (mid-May).
  • About 50 physicians have applied for certificates to recommend MMJ, and the medical board plans to approve the paperwork next week.
  • Patients are expected to begin signing up for the program in July.