Cannabis patients in Ohio won’t have access to medicine by the September 8 deadline for launching the program due to delays in the licensing process for the state’s 25 growers, according to a Cincinnatti.com report.
While licenses have been issued, cultivators can’t actually start growing until they have passed inspections with the Ohio Department of Commerce. As of this week, just one grower — Pure Ohio Wellness — has undergone inspection, but was not certified to begin operations. According to a Commerce Department spokesperson, two smaller growers have scheduled inspections for later this month and five large operators will receive inspections in July.
“We really should have had plants in the ground by this time.” — Mark Hamlin, Ohio Commerce Department spokesman, via Cincinnatti.com
Assuming the upcoming inspections result in at least some cultivators being certified to begin the growing process, it will be another three months at least before those cannabis products begin hitting dispensary shelves.
Charlie Batchell, whose company Cresco Labs is constructing a grow facility in Yellow Springs, emphasized that Ohio isn’t the first state to face delays in the roll-out of its medical cannabis program.
“It’s more important for a state to get this right than to try to hit deadlines that might have looked good on paper. …Delays are going to be measured in a matter of days and weeks – not months.” — Charlie Batchell, CEO of Cresco Labs, via Cincinnatti.com