The Ohio Board of Pharmacy (OBP) awarded 70 new provisional medical cannabis licenses on Monday, Cleveland.com reports. To become fully licensed, each licensee must now build a state-compliant facility and pass an OBP inspection.
A certificate of operation will be awarded after a positive inspection, at which time each provisional licensee will have 270 days to open their doors. The process to expand Ohio’s 58 existing medical cannabis dispensary licenses started in April 2021 after a review by the agency determined the system needed upgrading for a variety of reasons, including a lack of dispensaries in the western part of the state, the state having thinner dispensary density than other medical cannabis states, and more patients than expected having signed up for the program.
The board has a goal of 1,200 patients per dispensary district. Three more licenses are under consideration but a decision on those is forthcoming. One more hangs in the balance of a lawsuit, the report says.
Ohio received 1,465 applications in this latest round of provisional licensing. The winners were chosen via a lottery drawing, where they were then ranked per dispensary district for scrutiny by the board for their applications, business plans, and other documents.
The report says this round was “different” than the first, when many who were denied licenses sued after claiming the board staff were not objective, leading to lawsuits that played out for years. Many applicants were denied licenses this round due to being less than 500 feet from a school or other prohibited facility.
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