More than six months ahead of the May 6, 2017 deadline for adoption, the Ohio Department of Commerce has issued proposed rules for cultivators in the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. The agency also issued a two-page summary that highlighted several of the rules, including a limit of 12 large producers (Level I) and six small ones (Level II). Cultivators will have nine months from the issuance of the provisional license to pass inspection.
One aspect of the rules that will likely raise concerns is the steep licensing fees of $180K for the Level 1 companies, with an application fee of $20K. The prices for the Level II companies are 90% lower at $18,000 and $2000, respectively. Level I cultivators can operate grows as large as 15,000 square feet, while Level II cultivators are limited to just 1600 square feet.
The applicants will be judged on criteria that includes the business plan, an operations plan, a quality assurance plan, a security plan and a financial plan. Other considerations include generation of local jobs, minimization of the carbon footprint, employment practices, ownership by a majority of members of an economically disadvantaged group, substance abuse prevention plans and a commitment to research. The proposed rules highly limit the ability of successful applicants to advertise physically or online.
The Department of Commerce is taking public comment from 11/2-11/15. The program is mandated to begin by September 8, 2018. To stay on top of Ohio and other state medical cannabis programs on a state-by-state basis, visit the New Cannabis Ventures resource page.