Ohio recreational Marijuana sales could begin at Medical dispensaries under proposal

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Ohio recreational Marijuana sales could begin at Medical dispensaries under proposal

Ohio Division of Cannabis Control Reveals Tentative Plan for Recreational Marijuana Sales.

The Ohio Division of Cannabis Control has tentatively picked a storefront for recreational marijuana, as well as hinted at a time when sales could begin in the state.

The agency revealed a set of proposed rules on Tuesday that could dictate which shops can sell recreational marijuana, and when. DCC’s proposal includes the option for medical dispensaries to become “dual-use dispensaries,” allowing them to become a vendor of recreational marijuana alongside the prescriptions they distribute. Dispensaries would have to apply to make the change during a three-month window before sales could commence. DCC Public Information Officer Jamie Crawford gave specific dates for when the necessary paperwork would go out as well as when dual-use licenses would be issued, under the proposal.

“The current draft rules have the goal of issuing applications to current medical marijuana licensees by June 7 as required by the initiated statute approved by voters,” Crawford said. “The division is looking to begin awarding provisional licenses for non-medical cannabis facilities by September 7. Sales of non-medical cannabis cannot happen until licenses are issued and facilities are certified.”

Crawford alluded to a certificate of operation, which the DCC expects would go out after Sept. 7 at an unspecified date. Dispensaries would need this final piece to sell recreationally. Even without the certificate, however, the license will allow a dual-use dispensary to begin construction of a recreational storefront, as well as hire and train staff for it.

Recreational marijuana’s legalization as well as the DCC’s creation are both thanks to Issue 2, which voters passed in November. Even though recreational marijuana is legal to possess and consume, there was no immediate legal vendor for it in Ohio when the law went into effect. Instead, Issue 2 dictated that the state would create the DCC, which would then be charged with regulating both forms of cannabis.

Since its passage, lawmakers at the Ohio Statehouse have been trying to pass legislation to alter the new statute for recreational marijuana. But competing bills from the House and Senate have resulted in the chambers failing to pass something. The stalemate has created an environment where a legal vendor of recreational marijuana is months away at minimum, while qualifying medical marijuana patients can get a prescription within the span of days.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has expressed interest in House Bill 86, which essentially mirrors the proposal from the DCC but would accelerate the timeline for sales to begin. Even without H.B. 86, Crawford said the proposed rules could move forward based on existing law.

“We remain committed to working with the General Assembly on this legislative package. However, in the absence of this legislation, the Division must move forward on establishment of rules for the non-medical market based on the timeline laid out in the citizen-initiated statute passed by voters in November,” Crawford said.

The division seemed to take DeWine’s interest in H.B. 86 into account in drafting the proposed rules. Crawford said that the concept for Ohio’s first recreational shops was also supported by studying other states that legalized marijuana.

“In reviewing the recent launch of some recreational cannabis markets in other states, such as Maryland, the Division identified the conversion from a single-use medical facility license to a dual-use facility could expedite the process of getting the non-medical market established as outlined in the voter-initiated statute,” Crawford said.

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Region: Ohio

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