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Slow burn — Ohio recreational marijuana dispensaries on way to sales

Last Updated 2 weeks by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

More than 100 dispensaries in Ohio are on their way to selling recreational marijuana. This comes after sales were anticipated to start in June.

The Division of Cannabis Control has given provisional licenses to 110 dispensaries so they can sell both medically and recreationally once they receive final approval.

Of the 110, Northeast Ohio has 36. Southwest Ohio has 29, and Central Ohio has 18. Franklin County has the most with 12, Cuyahoga with 11 and Hamilton with nine.

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to learn which facilities have a provisional license.

License applications must be approved or denied by Sept. 7, but the state and policymakers have continued to say that applications could be granted and recreational sales could happen by mid-June.

The passage of Issue 2 allowed adults 21 years of age and older to smoke, vape and ingest weed. Individual Ohioans are able to grow up to six plants with up to 12 per household.

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to learn more about what the law entails. High hopes for marijuana to hit store shelves sooner this summer

RELATED: High hopes for marijuana to hit store shelves sooner this summer

Ohio Cannabis Coalitions Tom Haren is staying positive despite the delayed start date.

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“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” Haren said. “There is a lot of work that needed to get done.”

Consumers havent been able to buy weed legally because there is a process that takes place between getting a provisional license and getting a license with a certificate of operation.

The state has a list of requirements that shops need to meet, such as keeping visitor logs, having curbside and drive-through pickup and utilizing surveillance systems. Dispensaries will also have to demonstrate they can keep inventory aside to make sure medical patients continue having preferred access. Sellers will also have to do a test sale to a medical patient and a recreational consumer, among dozens of other tasks and evaluations.

“We’ve been going on a hiring blitz, of course, making sure that we’re staffed up,” Brandon Nemec with Verilife said.

But Gov. Mike DeWine wants more regulations.

“We have a problem of walking down the street with your five-year-old and there is marijuana smoke,” DeWine said in late June.

He has been asking for lawmakers to deal with his safety concerns for months.

The Senate has passed and proposed various changes to the law like a restriction or ban on public smoking. However, it would limit home grow, reduce THC levels and ban the vast majority of vapes among dozens of other restrictions and changes to what the voters chose.

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House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) has been blocking it, and dispensaries support him.

“Honoring the will of the voters is very important,” Stephens said in late June. “That part has been done this was passed in November and it’s still the law of the land.”

The lawmakers in both chambers allegedly agree that they want to put more stringent guidelines on advertising, but they can’t agree on the vehicle. The House wants a clean version of a bill meaning they don’t want the Senate to “go against the will of the people,” which is what House leaders say the other chamber is doing.

The Senate leaders have argued that the citizens didn’t actually know what they were voting for, and they don’t actually want or need to be able to grow six plants as an individual or up to 12 plants per household.

In their most recent move, the Senate proposed S.B. 278, a bill that would ban all public smoking or vaping, but they didn’t reduce the home grow amount this time. House leaders, specifically marijuana enthusiast state Rep. Jamie Callender (R-Concord), said a public ban would not be happening under his watch.

The House and the Senate both proposed ideas, and their leaders have been arguing about whose policy is better for the state, which in turn has kept marijuana off the shelves despite being passed in Nov. and going into effect in Dec. 2023. Republican squabbling keeps marijuana off shelves months after legalization

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RELATED: Republican squabbling keeps marijuana off shelves months after legalization

Even though sales didnt happen as hoped in June, Haren said Cannabis Control is still ahead of schedule. Technically, they have until Sept. to issue the first batch of licenses.

“We’re very encouraged that we are a matter of weeks away from Ohioans being able to purchase legal, regulated, taxed, tested, adult-use marijuana products right here in the Buckeye State,” Haren added.

There will likely be no changes to marijuana policy until the end of the year since the chambers are in summer recess until after the Nov. election.

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