Ohio confirms medical marijuana delay; businesses will suffer, but costs unclear

ohio cannabis legislation

Ohio had set a Sept. 8 deadline to have a fully operational medical marijuana market. But the state confirmed this week what industry observers have predicted for a while: It’s not going to happen.

It’s unclear when MMJ products will start appearing on dispensary shelves, and what the business impacts will be in the meantime – although companies that already have spent thousands on rent and real estate-related costs will have to pony up even more money.

“I think it’s a little too early to know,” Tom Haren, an attorney at Frantz Ward in Cleveland, told Marijuana Business Daily.

“Ohio just licensed the initial group of (56) dispensaries, processing licenses haven’t been awarded yet, and cultivators are just now starting to have their inspections so they haven’t even started growing yet.”

Haren, who represents grower, processor and dispensary applicants, said the biggest impact probably will be for dispensaries, many of which will be ready to open their doors without products to sell.

Cultivators and processors also may be left holding the bag, waiting for their products to be tested.

“We don’t know how many testing labs we will have,” Haren said, “and then there’s the question of capacity and can they handle the volume? To me, that presents the biggest chokepoint.”

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