Alan Johnson The Columbus Dispatch @ohioaj
People who want to grow medical marijuana in Ohio are certain about one thing: they don’t want outsiders coming in to take over.
The vast majority of more than two-dozens speakers at a public hearing today on marijuana cultivation rules said there should be a residency requirement for those granted licenses to grow pot legally under a new state law.
“We fought for this law … I feel that it’s unreasonable for out-of-state individuals to get licenses,” said Kelley Mottola of Hilliard, owner of Hyro Innovations, an indoor gardening store. “They will bring in out of staters for employment as well.”
Mottola said she has family members and many customers who would benefit from medical marijuana. She hopes to get the money together to apply for a cultivation license.
Kevin Schmidt of the Marijuana Policy Project said Ohioans urged a change in the rule to require a residency requirement for growers, even if for just the first year. “Ohioans should be given a chance to get established,” he said.
Josiah Matthews, a Lima man who hopes to get into the business of growing and dispensing marijuana for medical purposes, echoed the call for an Ohio residency requirement, which is not now part of the rules.
“At least 51 percent ownership should be from Ohio,’ he said. “It forces companies from outside to partner with people with families in Ohio and who live here.”
The Ohio Department of Commerce hearing on proposed state marijuana growing rules attracted about 100 people to the State Fire Marshal’s office, 8895 E. Main St., in Reynoldsburg. The rules will next be reviewed by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review next month, but must be in place by May 6, under requirements of the medical marijuana law approved by