Ohio medical marijuana sales won't begin in November

Ohio medical marijuana sales won’t begin in November

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How Medical Marijuana is grown at Cresco Labs Albert Cesare, acesare@enquirer.com Buy Photo COLUMBUS – It’s possible medical marijuana will be sold in Ohio by the end of the year, but it won’t happen in November as previously estimated. Ohio law requires all medical marijuana to be tested for potency and purity before it’s sold in dispensaries. But none of the state’s five licensed testing labs are open. The two testing labs closest to opening are tentatively scheduled for final inspections in mid-December, the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Mark Hamlin told the Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Board on Thursday. The labs are Hocking Technical College in Nelsonville and a private lab, North Coast Testing Laboratories in Streetsboro. Hamlin said last month the Hocking lab might open in early November. Meanwhile, a few of the 56 state-licensed dispensaries have asked for preliminary inspections and are scheduling final inspections. Two dispensaries have had preliminary inspections: Cresco Labs Ohio LLC’s dispensary in Wintersville, outside Steubenville and Ohio Cannabisb Clinic LLC in Coshocton. Cresco also operates a large-scale medical marijuana grow facility in Yellow Springs. Ten of the state’s 26 licensed medical marijuana cultivators have been allowed to start growing plants. Two small-scale cultivators harvested their first crops in October. But dispensary operators are waiting on two key pieces of the program: testing labs and the patient registry. The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy put the registry on hold until a date closer to when dispensaries open and product is available to buy. Under Ohio law, patients have an "affirmative defense" against prosecution for marijuana possession if they have been recommended marijuana by a physician and are otherwise following the medical marijuana program’s rules. That defense expires 60 days from when the registry opens. "We’re watching the industry," pharmacy board chief legal counsel […]

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