Connect with us


Ohio Officials Will Begin Accepting Recreational Marijuana Sales Applications This Week, But The Market Won’t Launch Immediately



Ohio’s top marijuana regulator says that while the state will open up applications for medical cannabis dispensaries to start selling to adult-use consumers by Friday, the exact timing for when they’ll be able to launch depends on whether they’ve satisfied a list of conditions.

Ohio Division of Cannabis Control (DCC) Superintendent James Canepa has previously suggested that businesses with dual licenses approved could begin selling to patients and recreational consumers as early as this month. That’s still a possibility, but he declined to commit to any specific timeline in a new interview with Plain Dealer.

He said it’s likely there will be a “trickle in the beginning,” with a limited number of hybrid shops that are able to meet requirements to open their doors, such as enhanced security and updated point-of-sale systems to differentiate between medical and adult-use purchases.

Most dual dispensaries are expected to launch later, he said, “not that they’re not ready but that they’re a little more thoughtful about the scale for a new customer base.”

“Everybody keeps trying to get me to circle a day, and it’s impossible because like with liquor, you have to process the applicants as they are,” Canepa, who previously served as the state’s top alcohol regulator, said in the new interview. “You have to take them as they come to you. And there’s a whole checklist that they have to meet.”

In addition to the security and sales system updates, the superintendent also noted that businesses will need to ensure that their employees are properly badged. Their medical cannabis licenses must also be up-to-date in order to apply for a dual license.

In general, dispensaries with dual licenses will also need to make sure they maintain an adequate supply of cannabis so that they don’t run into situations where medical patients aren’t able to access the products they need.

“We’ve said our priority is to make sure the medical patients are taken care of,” he said. “Your responsibility is to be a good retailer.”

Canepa also described two other issues that are “bogging me down.” He wants regulatory clarity around public consumption rules and the sale of intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoid products such as delta-8 THC.

Applications for the dual licenses are set to open about a month after the legislature’s Joint Committee On Agency Rule Review (JCARR) gave final approval to the proposed cannabis regulations for the adult-use market under the legalization law voters passed last November.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R) doesn’t personally support legalization, but he’s repeatedly criticized the delay in access to regulated products since voters made that choice and possession became legal in December.

Legislative leaders had separately discussed putting together a bill to make various changes to the law, including expediting sales, but the plans have largely fallen apart amid disagreement within the GOP-controlled legislature.

The Senate did pass an amendment package just prior to legalization taking effect, but the House has not taken it up, nor has it moved to advance a different proposal that originate in the House. Senators also filed a separate bill to change various marijuana rules last week.

Meanwhile, as regulators have worked to finalize regulations for the adult-use market, it already implemented a change in February that allows medical marijuana patients and caregivers to obtain or renew their registrations for only one penny. That fee was then totally eliminated with the adoption of a new rule at last month’s JCARR meeting.

The fee elimination is part of an initial package of rules that DCC released in February to implement adult-use legalization.

Following voter approval of legalization at the ballot, the Department of Commerce was quick to publish an FAQ guide for residents to learn about the new law and timeline for implementation.

The governor, meanwhile, has previously pressed the legislature to enact changes to expedite recreational marijuana sales. But he’s indicated that his more immediate concern is regulating the sale of intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoids such as delta-8 THC.

“This is time for the legislature to move,” the governor, who also raised the issue during his State of the State address last month, said. “We can’t do it ourselves.”

DEA Exemption Process For Religious Psychedelics Use Needs Clearer Timelines And Standards, Government Watchdog Agency Says

Photo courtesy of WeedPornDaily.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
Become a patron at Patreon!

Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Sacramento-based managing editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.


Marijuana News In Your Inbox

Get our daily newsletter.

Support Marijuana Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox


Get our daily newsletter.