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Ohio Begins Accepting Applications For Recreational Marijuana Sales

COLUMBUS, OH – The next phase of marijuana legalization in Ohio got underway on Friday as the state began accepting applications for medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational weed.

According to a report by WCMH, the process is being overseen by the Ohio Division of Cannabis Control (DCC) that was created after adult-use cannabis was approved by voters last November.

Dispensaries that are approved would receive dual-use licenses, and medical marijuana growing facilities would be given permits for up to three dispensary licenses.  The state provided applicants with information on the regulatory requirements involved in obtaining a license to begin sales.

“The Division of Cannabis Control will review and process the applications roughly in the order that they have been received,” said DCC Public Information Officer Jamie Crawford.

While the state has not given a firm date for recreational sales to begin, Crawford said there could be a relatively short turnaround from the time businesses submit their application until they get their license and a certificate of operation.  Sales at the state’s 132 medical marijuana dispensaries could get started in mid-June.

“We will start issuing licenses and it will be up to the retailer based on staffing, stock and other considerations as to which day they will begin sales,” he said. “Given the foundation already laid through the Medical Marijuana Control Program, current medical permit holders positioned to apply for dual-use status who have already undergone many of the comprehensive checks are anticipated to have a much quicker turnaround for issuance of licenses over the summer.”

State officials said applications from cultivators, processors and testing laboratories would be given priority in order to help establish an efficient supply chain.

Under the measure approved by Ohio voters in 2023, adults 21 and over are permitted to buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and to grow up to six plants per individual or 12 plants per household at home. The state was given nine months to create a framework where consumers could purchase marijuana legally, subject to a 10% tax.

Among the medical pot dispensaries applying for dual-use licenses is Sunnyside, whose Senior Marketing Manager Kierston Powell discusses the industry’s growth with the start of recreational marijuana sales.

“Post adult-use, the game plan is about 300 dispensaries in the state of Ohio,” Powell said. “There will be multiple dispensaries to choose from, but it’s not necessarily going to be every corner of the block.”

An industry representative quoted by the Associated Press said stores are eagerly anticipating the transition.  “We’re very excited about Ohio. Ten million person population here in the state, so it’s a big, big opportunity for us,” Trip McDermott, chief operating officer of Verano, said at the company’s cultivation facility in Canton.

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