Ohio business pot cultivation deadline today

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FILE

The final state application deadline for businesses that want to cultivate medical marijuana in Ohio is today.

But Ohio government is saying little about who has applied or even how many applicants are asking to be one of the 24 allowed to grow a special strain of medical pot.

Unless those applicants have stepped forward to publicly identify themselves, who they are is unclear at the moment. Now, it’s up to state regulators to select them.

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Would-be cultivators have been applying to the Ohio Department of Commerce. But no “processing” of applications has happened yet, said Kerry Francis, a spokeswoman for that department.

The state is splitting prospective cultivation operations by size, with “level II” cultivators permitted to operate up to 3,000 square feet of space and “level I” operators permitted to operate up to 25,000 square feet.

The department plans to issue up to 12 level I licenses and 12 level II licenses.

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The deadline for applying to build small cultivation facilities was 5 p.m. June 16. The final deadline for those who want to build the larger cultivation operations is today

“We don’t know if we’ll have a line of people at 4:59 p.m. Friday,” Francis said.

City and village officials have identified or confirmed applications for possible facilities in Dayton, Wilmington, Carlisle and Yellow Springs.

Francis couldn’t say how many individuals or companies have submitted applications so far, and when the state would identify applicants.

“I would assume it would be this year, definitely,” she said.

According to the state’s timeline, rules for marijuana processors, testing labs and medical cannabis dispensaries will be adopted by Sept. 8, 2017.

How will processors be chosen? The Commerce Department's web site — medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov/cultivation — says that has yet to be determined.

“The process will be fair and impartial. More information will be shared once details are finalized.” a “frequently asked questions” section of the site says.

Ohio legislators passed a law last June allowing medical cannabis to be prescribed under certain conditions to patients suffering one or more of 20 qualifying medical conditions. 

Qualifying medical conditions include AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable, Parkinson’s disease, positive status for HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and ulcerative colitis.

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