Ohio medical marijuana dispensary license awards delayed

COLUMBUS — The expected announcement of medical marijuana dispensary licenses was delayed Wednesday by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.

The board was set to hold a special meeting Wednesday to announce the license awards, part of the bureaucratic process the state is undergoing before medical marijuana is legally sold Sept. 8. But the board announced Tuesday that the meeting had been postponed, and that provisional licenses will instead be issued in June.

“Postponing the announcement of the awards is due to some unexpected delays in information required to validate an applicant meets the minimum license qualifications,” Cameron McNamee, a board spokesman, said in an email. “It does not have to do with the applicant’s scores, as those have been finalized since March. The Board fully expects that all outstanding information will be obtained or confirmed in order to move ahead with the issuance of provisional licenses in June.”

House Bill 523, which took effect Sept. 8, 2016, legalized medical marijuana in Ohio. While the legislation set a framework for the program, it left the ongoing work of establishing rules and guidelines for the cultivation, processing, testing, dispensing, and medical use of marijuana to different state agencies.

For the purposes of dispensary licenses, the state has been divided into four regions; only 10 dispensaries will be initially licensed in northwest Ohio. Those regions were further divided into districts, so Lucas County will only be allowed two licenses when the program opens.

There are 18 applicants currently competing for those two licenses.

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