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Inside the Ohio State House's Senate chambers.

Bob Hall

The Ohio Department of Commerce has released their draft rules for would-be cannabis cultivators for the state’s medical marijuana program. In all, 12 Level I licenses will be available and six Level II, but the fees associated with the licenses are steep.

The fee for Level I cultivators runs $180,000 and carries a $20,000 application fee. For Level II cultivators the license fee is $18,000, with a $2,000 application fee, according to the documents.

Level I licensees are permitted 15,000 square feet of space, and Level II cultivators are allowed up to 1,600 square feet. No more than two licenses are permitted to be issued “in any one designated territory,” the rules state. Additional licenses will be made available on Sept. 9, 2018.

Furthermore, the rules, outlined in a fact sheet, require that cultivators “demonstrate adequate capital to meet facility plans and operational needs,” with Level I cultivators seeding to show $500,000 in liquid assets; $50,000 for Level II.  Growers must allow the Commerce Department to conduct facility inspections and they must pass an initial inspection and be ready to cultivate their plants within nine months of being issued a license. The rules require seed-to-sale tracking systems and product testing by a licensed laboratory.

The public comment period for the guidelines opened yesterday, and the department will seek the input of the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee before the rules are enacted.

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