REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — “Can you believe we’re talking about pot? At a public hearing? It’s legal.”
Columbus attorney David Cox made the comment today at a public hearing in which those interested in getting into the business of growing marijuana weighed in on rules that will govern cultivators in the newly legal medical cannabis industry.
The rules, which must be finalized by May 6, were the subject before a hearing examiner with the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.
The bipartisan committee, consisting of five state representatives and five senators, will serve as the last set of eyes to look at the rules before they become official.
Josiah Matthews, of Lima, plans to submit an application for a yet-to-be-determined growing facility outside the city, and he’s counting on the rules including a requirement, at least for a while, that those owning and running such operations are from Ohio.
“We need to take another look at the residency requirement to make sure owners are central to Ohio, and are not outside businesses,” he told the hearing officer. “At least 51 percent ownership should be from Ohio…It forces companies from outside to partner with people with families in Ohio and who live here.”
He’s been talking about partnering with a company that has submitted a license in Pennsylvania.
But Jason Kabbes, an Ohio State University graduate who moved to Portland, Ore. to be part of that’s state’s new marijuana industry, doesn’t want to be locked out of Ohio’s new market.
“The day I saw that it was coming to Ohio, I called my parents and said I’ll be back in couple years,” he said.
The rules are required to be in place by May 6 under the law passed last year that legalized marijuana for medical use only and set