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On Wednesday, Ohio regulators issued the state’s first certificate of operation for a medical cannabis dispensary, according to the The Cincinnati Enquirer.

The first dispensary, which will be run by Cresco Labs, will open in Wintersville, about 240 miles northeast from Cincinnati. Cresco Labs is the first of 56 applicants to receive the final green light for operations.

“Receiving the first approval to operate is a major milestone in the transformation of the cannabis program in Ohio.” — Charles Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs, via Cincinnati.com

The only remaining hurdle for providing cannabis to Ohio patients is testing labs. None of the five applicant labs have yet been approved by state regulators. Two growers have already harvested crops — and a third, larger grow is poised to harvest later this month — but all products sold under Ohio’s medical cannabis program are required to be tested by a third party.

Hocking College’s testing lab is scheduled to have its final inspection on December 18 and is expected to begin accepting samples the following day. Dried flower will have a three-day turnaround; edibles will take slightly longer. Other types of cannabis products won’t be manufactured until next year.

Everyone involved seems optimistic that the first medicinal flower sales will occur by the end of 2018.

More than 1,062 patients have been issued medical cards by the state of Ohio and are awaiting product.

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