COLUMBUS, Ohio – The question of licenses for medical marijuana grow facilities in the state continues to be questioned.
Many of the companies that filed applications for licenses are appealing the Ohio Department of Commerce decision on awarding the licenses. At least two companies are filing law suits in matter. The process to determine which companies would be awarded the licenses has been called into question by many.
This has not just been an issue in Ohio. Other states and countries where cannabis has been legalized are reporting a boom in businesses filing for marijuana licenses. Canada in particular has seen a rise in the number of businesses trying to establish themselves as medical marijuana growers. In fact, anyone planning on starting a cannabis business there would most likely need the help of cannabis marketing experts in canada to help them stand out against competitors. However, authorities are struggling to process these huge amounts of applications, meaning that those who rightly should not be in this business are sometime slipping through the net.
Auditor of State Dave Yost previously called the process into question following media reports that one of the application graders was a convicted drug dealer. Media across the state had previously reported 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.”
The Ohio Department of Commerce has maintained there was nothing wrong with the process and stands by the decision on each of the licenses awarded.
Ohio Therapeutics, LLC., had an application for one of the Level 1 licenses to construct a facility in Racine, Ohio. The facility would have meant needed positions with benefits for the county, however, Cuyahoga County was given two Level 1 licenses. To be eligible for licenses, each facility must operate within guidelines and regulations set by each state. This could be anything from necessary security measures for grow-op facilities to the likes of disposing of waste marijuana product in lawful ways, in which marijuana grows and dispensaries could use waste services from the likes of GAIACA and similar companies.
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. The fact Ohio Therapeutics scored higher than both of those facilities, but was not awarded a license is a point of contention.
Meigs County did receive a license for the smaller Level 2 facility to be located in Langsville, Ohio. That facility may have up to 5 jobs. 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 the Ohio Therapeutics, LLC., application.
A list of the applications receiving licenses and their scores are listed below.
LEVEL I CULTIVATOR PROVISIONAL LICENSE RECIPIENTS
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)