Photo Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now
When states go legal who gets rich? Some people in Ohio are worried that out-of-state “carpetbaggers” are poised to cash in on Ohioans’ hard work to decriminalize cannabis. But regulations being explored by the state’s department of commerce could stop them in their tracks. Ohio: America’s original frontier and one of the newest — perhaps one of the juiciest — opportunities for would-be marijuana entrepreneurs.
The state plans to issue just 24 grow licenses to serve a medical-marijuana market with a projected net-worth between $200 million and $400 million, according to an estimate from Marijuana Business Daily. Even on the low end, that’s several millions per cultivator.
The question now is who will cash in? Will Ohio allows itself to become a new wild west for worldwide weed money, or will is pass the pot version of a protective tariff?
Businessman, Chad Zaki, was away from his home in Arizona last Monday — speaking to a city council in suburban Cleveland. Zaki is an investor with an Arizona-based medical-marijuana company, and was in Parma, Ohio, to tell the city council to quickly write and approve a law allowing cannabis grows, before other towns beat them to the punch.
Meanwhile, other entrepreneurs — ones from Ohio — are leaning on state officials to make sure carpetbaggers like Zaki have to stay away, at least for a while.
As the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported, when the Ohio Department of Commerce rolls out its final rules for cultivation operations on May 6, native Ohioans — like Kelly Mottola, owner of an Ohio-based hydroponics company — want to make sure they have first dibs on cultivation licenses.
“We’re the ones who fought for this,” Mottola said “Allowing people from outside the state is not benefiting Ohio or Ohioans