Ohio’s Department of Commerce has announced the end of the application period for marijuana cultivation licenses in the state.
Two types of cultivator licenses will be issued, Level I and Level II. Level I cultivators will be able to kick off with a cannabis cultivation area up to 25,000 square feet and Level II, 3,000 square feet; with both classes having the potential to expand operations.
The Department received 109 Level I applications and 76 Level II applications. Only 12 Level I and up to 12 Level II certificates of operation will be issued prior to September 9 next year.
The Level 1 licenses will be particularly costly. There was an application fee of USD $20,000 and an initial license fee of $180,000 will apply to successful applicants; followed by an annual license renewal fee of $200,000. Added to that is the ability to demonstrate cash collateral or a surety bond issued by an authorized insurance company of $750,000.
“To control supply and ensure adequate production, licensees need to demonstrate sufficient resources to address the significant risk within the marijuana industry,” says the Department of Commerce.
“Failure to thrive can directly affect the ability to provide products to patients. Requiring security resources ensures that the industry can withstand risk within these first years and protects the ability of patients to receive safe, quality products.”
Cannabis grown under the program must have a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of not more than 35%, while extracts will have a THC content of not more than 70%.
Medical marijuana was legalised in Ohio in 2016 for the treatment of a wide range of conditions, but the program doesn’t officially commence for quite some time.
When it is up and running, permitted forms of medical cannabis will be oils, tinctures, plant material, edibles and patches. While smoking or combustion of materials won’t be permitted as a method of delivery, vaping will be allowed. Vaping involving heating a material to a point where beneficial compounds are released, but no burning occurs.
According to the current timeline, dispensary and patient/caregiver rules won’t be adopted in Ohio until September this year, and then it will be another year before the program is operational.