Ohio medical marijuana growers form coalition to lobby on behalf of license winners

Companies awarded licenses to grow medical marijuana in Ohio are banding together and hiring a Columbus law firm to push back on critics of the licensing process and ensure the state’s new program is successful.

The companies have formed the Ohio Medical Marijuana License Holder Coalition, a trade association that will represent the interests of companies awarded licenses by the state to cultivate, process and dispense medical marijuana on legislative, compliance and enforcement issues.

The Ohio Department of Commerce awarded 24 provisional cultivator licenses in November. Since then, the license application scoring process has come under fire from elected officials and losing applicants for scoring errors and possible conflicts of interestbetween application reviewers and license winners.

lawsuit filed by six unsuccessful companies against the department seeks to stop the program and re-score applications, which could further delay the program’s start date for patients. The CEO of one of those companies, Jimmy Gould of CannAscend Ohio LLC, has accused the department of rigging the process against him and claimed the winning companies won’t be able to provide enough quality product for patients.

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