Ohio plans to revoke the license of a medical marijuana cultivator that has made little progress in building its facility in Toledo, according to the Columbus Business Journal. The business, OhiGrow, which won a Level 2 small cultivator license, could appeal.
“We found them to be generally nonresponsive,” Mark Hamlin, senior policy advisor at the Ohio Department of Commerce, reportedly told the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee at its monthly meeting Thursday.
OhiGrow bought its Toledo site for $290,000 on April 23, according to Lucas County property records.
Its owner, Carl Boyar of Illinois, also is listed as an owner in FloraMedex, a large medical marijuana dispensary in suburban Chicago.
OhiGrow didn’t respond to an email requesting comment.
Ohio has issued 25 provisional cultivation licenses, but less than a third have received certificates of operation. On Friday, Cresco Labs became the seventh cultivator to receive the green light.
The state’s first grower started planting marijuana seeds last month, meaning the launch of the state’s MMJ program is still months away.
Ohio has already missed its mandated program launch date of Sept. 8.
Ohio blew past Saturday’s deadline for rolling out its potential $400 million medical cannabis program, but many in the industry are confident better days are coming soon.
It’s not uncommon for state marijuana programs to be delayed, sometimes for years, by legal, regulatory or logistical snags, said Tom Rosenberger, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association of Ohio.
“When you think about it, you’re starting the most regulated industry the state probably has from scratch,” he said. “So getting that right takes a little bit of time.”
Licensees will combine to invest more than $100 million in Ohio even before sales have begun, Rosenberger said.
The three offices that share responsibility for Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program – the Commerce Department and the state medical and pharmacy boards – say Ohio’s two-year implementation schedule was aggressive.
Ohio is still a number of months away from an operational market, based on marijuana growing cycles.
Licensed cultivators started planting marijuana seeds about a month ago. It takes 4-6 months for plants to reach maturity and then they must be processed into MMJ products.
State officials emphasized the progress that’s been made, including certifying about 250 doctors and provisionally licensing 26 large and small growers, four testing labs, 40 processors and 56 dispensaries.
Ohio’s MMJ law permits plant material, edibles, oils, tinctures and patches. The law prohibits the use of medical marijuana by smoking or combustion, but vaping is allowed.
Marijuana Business Factbook 2018 projects Ohio’s MMJ market will reach $400 million a year when the program is mature.