Two years after Ohio voters approved medical marijuana, a safe, well-regulated program for people suffering from cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and epilepsy has yet to launch.
Of the 26 businesses selected to grow cannabis, just four have passed inspections and begun cultivating.
Once the plants are processed into oils, edibles and other products, Ohio is going to need more than the 10 processors that have so far met the state's requirements. More than 100 applied, but less than a dozen passed muster.
Ohio is not the first state to legalize MMJ nor is it the first to run into problems. Ohio’s constantly recurring legal obstacles had a lot to do with the delay.
The first logical step in developing an MMJ program is to allow qualified growers to do their thing.
The Ohio Department of Commerce took over five months to score the 185 cultivators’ applications and announce the winners. Once that happened, the lawsuits started.
Businesses who didn’t win a license fumed while others screamed "racial quota" at the requirement that some growers had to be owned by economically disadvantaged groups.
Once cultivators finally started to think about planting, they ran into
local issues, weather delays and contractor problems.
To date, only four of the 26 cultivators who passed inspections have started growing.
Of the 104 applications to process oils and edibles, only seven initially met the state's requirements.
And, so far Ohio does not have any dispensaries set up. Out of the
376 that have applied, so far, only 56 have been selected.
And let us not forget the patients, waiting patiently for the powers that be to get organized.
As of Sept. 2018, there is still no patient registry set up.