Questions arise on medical marijuana licenses

COLUMBUS, Ohio – One state elected official is calling for the suspending the issuance of the Level 1 Cultivator’s Licenses for medical marijuana. Medical marijuana cards are relatively new in these parts of town, although many residents have been using sites like to purchase CBD products for years. With the new cards, some questions have arisen.

Auditor of State Dave Yost this week called into question the applications following media reports that at one of the application graders was a convicted drug dealer. Media across the state are reporting that Trevor C. Bozeman, one of three consultants hired by the Department of Commerce to evaluate and grade applications for the licenses, pled guilty in 2005 to possession with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance in Pennsylvania.

“This is an epic failure. I am outraged,” said Yost, a former county prosecutor. “The only proper course of action is to freeze the process, and independently review the evaluation and scoring from the ground up. And the Administration needs to explain how this drug dealer ended up telling the government how to run its fledgling medical marijuana program.”

Many are already accessing medical marijuana, with some asking how to smoke weed without papers of their vendors. Still, without such assurances, the entire program is tainted, Yost said. Additionally, Yost has directed his staff to seek more information to determine whether there were errors made during the selection of those hired to review applications and whether any hiring errors impacted the grading of the license applications.

“We can’t wait for a rear-view mirror audit,” Yost added. “The Commerce Department needs to act today before this train leaves the station.”

That being said, the marijuana growing industry has seen a marked rise in interest since legalization, with an increasing number of cannabis businesses looking for new ways to enhance the yield of their products through revolutionary seed to sale software as well as other cannabis cultivation solutions. Due to this growth, there is an increase in jobs for those who are interested in working within the marijuana growing industry with many working in the business earning a healthy living from the occupation, for example, some master growers make over $100K. This continues to strengthen with the development of facilities promoting cultivation.

Ohio Therapeutics, LLC., had an application in for one of the Level 1 licenses to construct a facility in Racine, Ohio. The facility would have meant needed with benefits for the county, however, Cuyahoga County was given two Level 1 licenses. Harvest Grows LLC in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County scored 142.04. Harvest Grows LLC in Hamilton Township, Lawrence County also received a score of 142.04. The application from Ohio Therapeutics, LLC., for Meigs County scored 147.64, yet was denied the license.

Meigs County did receive a license for the smaller Level 2 facilities to be located in Langsville, Ohio. That facility may have up to 5 jobs, where the Level 1 facility in Racine would have eventually provided up to 100 jobs with pay being at least $15 per hour. Local governments and organizations wrote letters of support for the proposed facility for Ohio Therapeutics, LLC., application.

A list of the applications receiving licenses and their scores are listed below.
Score – 179.28 Buckeye Relief LLC (Eastlake, Lake County)
Score – 173.44 Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals LLC (Newton Township, Muskingum County)
Score – 173.28 OPC Cultivation LLC (Huron, Erie County)
Score – 172.72 Riviera Creek Holdings LLC (Youngstown, Mahoning County)
Score – 167.64 Pure Ohio Wellness LLC (Springfield, Clark County)
Score – 167.08 Columbia Care OH LLC (Mt. Orab, Brown County)
Score – 165.48 Terradiol Ohio LLC (Canton, Stark County)
Score – 161.28 Standard Wellness Company LLC (Gibsonburg, Sandusky County)
Score – 161.28 AT-CPC of Ohio LLC (Akron, Summit County)
Score – 159.80 Cresco Labs Ohio LLC (Yellow Springs, Greene County)
Score – 153.08 Parma Wellness Center LLC (Parma, Cuyahoga County)
Score – 142.04 Harvest Grows LLC (Hamilton Township, Lawrence County)
Score – 142.04 Harvest Grows LLC (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
Please note: Interested parties could submit multiple applications, but can only receive one provisional license. An awarded Level I cultivator provisional licensee has up to 10 days to choose the location for the cultivation facility.