Marty Schladen The Columbus Dispatch @martyschladen
The state on Thursday announced 12 provisional licenses for large operations to grow medical marijuana in Ohio, which is expected to be available in about a year.
None of the large sites — which can be up to 24,000 square feet — is in the Columbus area, although one is in Clark County and another is in Greene County.
The Ohio Department of Commerce, which regulates the grow sites, last month announced 11 small grow sites, which can cultivate up to 3,000 square feet. On Thursday, the department announced a 12th — Farkas Farms LLC in Grafton, Lorain County.
“Today’s announcement marks the end of a long and highly competitive licensing process for cultivators,” said Thomas Rosenberger, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association of Ohio. “The applicants who were awarded provisional licenses today have clearly demonstrated that they are among the leaders of this industry, and we look forward to working with them to provide patients safe access to medical marijuana.”
However, one disappointed applicant, CannAscend Ohio, said the selection process violated the law and threatened a legal challenge.
“We do not accept the State of Ohio’s Level I Cultivation Application results, and have begun a full-throated challenge of the selection process,” Jimmy Gould, chairman and CEO of the company said in a statement. “Our legal experts have uncovered several fatal flaws, and more are expected to be uncovered through discovery.”
Gould, a Cincinnati sports agent, helped lead the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio. A spokesman wouldn’t disclose details of Gould’s complaints about the licensure process, saying they would be discussed at a Friday press conference in Cincinnati.
The licensed large sites:
Buckeye Relief LLC in Eastlake, Lake County.
Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals LLC, Newton Township, Muskingum County
OPC Cultivation LLC, Huron, Erie