Several cannabis plants shortly after being cut down for harvesting.

Rory Savatgy

Ohio’s medical cannabis proposal requires public universities to conduct product tests, which could delay the program due to equipment costs, and application and operation fees, according to a Cincinnati Enquirer report. Under the plan, private laboratories are barred from testing medical cannabis for one year, the testing application fee is $2,000, and the operation fee is $18,000.

According to Jeffery Raber, CEO of The Werc Shop, which performs cannabis testing in Oregon, Washington, and California, equipment costs could reach as much as $1 million. At universities, budgets often rely on grants from government programs.

Rob Ryan, executive director of the Ohio Patient Network, said that without testing “there is no program.”

Spokespeople from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University, Cleveland State University, and Kent State University all told The Enquirer that they have no plans to conduct the testing. Advocates are concerned that with so little interest from state universities there would not be enough labs in the state to meet the demand.

“There are too many unknowns to rely exclusively on learning institutions,” Chris Lindsey, senior legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in the report. “Private labs are in better positions to respond.”

State Rep. Kirk Schuring, one of the authors of the medical cannabis law, said he believes the institutions “will step up.”

“If it becomes a problem, we’ll correct it, but I don’t think it will,” he said.

The rules for the program must be finalized by Sept. 8.

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