Ohio patients will not be able to buy marijuana on Sept. 8, the anticipated start date for Ohio’s medical cannabis program.
In fact, it could take weeks more before medicinal weed is available for patients. Even then, it’s likely to be available only in limited quantities.
Delays in licensing 25 marijuana growers in Ohio have pushed back the program’s launch, the Ohio Department of Commerce said Tuesday. Before planting can begin, the growers must have their facilities inspected by the state and be granted a certificate of operation.
“We really should have had plants in the ground by this time,” said Mark Hamlin, a Ohio Commerce Department spokesman.
Ohio legalized medical marijuana in June 2016, saying people could buy it out of state if they had a doctor’s note – although few people have taken that option. Meanwhile, the state has been working toward setting up its own marijuana growers and dispensaries.
The rollout has been fraught with hiccups and delays.
So far, just one large grower – Pure Ohio Wellness – has had its facility inspected but did not receive a certificate of operation. The Commerce Department, which regulates the growers, is continuing to work with the company to pass inspection.