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Update on medical marijuana in Ohio

As the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and our members continue to monitor the implementation of medical marijuana in the State of Ohio, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program recently announced an updated timeline.

The first marijuana cultivator licenses will likely be awarded in November. While cultivator licenses could be awarded earlier, state officials believe that time frame is a safe prediction.

The Ohio Department of Commerce is currently reviewing 185 cultivator applications; ultimately, that number will be reduced to 24 cultivator licenses.

Meanwhile, the application process for processors and dispensaries will begin shortly after cultivator licenses are announced. The proposed dispensary districts, which were announced last month, have been receiving formal comments from the public through last week.

The entire program is required by law to be operational by September 2018.

The GCP did not take a formal position on the medical marijuana legislation that is now Ohio law. Instead, we worked with key state partners to successfully secure employer rights’ provisions in the legislation to ensure employers were not prohibited from establishing and enforcing a drug testing policy, drug-free workplace policy, or zero-tolerance drug policy.

A Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee was formed to provide guidance on the implementation of the law. GCP Board member Michael Stanek was appointed by Governor Kasich to serve on the committee to represent employers’ views as regulatory proceedings continue.