Ohio’s colleges and universities can soon apply to test medical marijuana.
State regulators released the documents that schools can use to become a testing laboratory for the new industry. The Ohio Department of Commerce, which will regulate marijuana growing and testing, will accept applications from Sept. 11 to Sept. 22.
Private companies are not yet eligible to test marijuana. Ohio’s law gives higher education dibs on testing for the first year after the state starts accepting applications, meaning non-university researchers such as Columbus-based Battelle Memorial Institute have to wait until June 5, 2018, to be granted testing licenses.
The department accepted the first applications to become one of 24 medical marijuana growers a year earlier.
Ohio’s medical marijuana program must become operational by September 2018, so it’s possible that while public colleges and universities get first crack at testing licenses, private researchers can be up and running around the program’s start date.
The nonrefundable application fee is $2,000, and if awarded a license, testers will pay an annual $20,000 renewal fee. Unlike other aspects of the industry, including dispensaries and grow sites, there’s no limit on testing sites.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich in June 2016 signed the bill legalizing medical marijuana for conditions including HIV/AIDS, severe or intractable pain and Crohn’s disease.
Ohio State University did not immediately return a request for comment on whether it plans to file an application.