UPDATE: Ohio officials: Some medical pot should be available by year's end

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - UPDATE: 11/10/18 4:20 P.M.

Ohio officials say it could be a leafy green Christmas for some medical marijuana patients as small amounts of cannabis become available for sale before the end of the year.

The Columbus Dispatch reports a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Commerce says the state's first harvested marijuana plants should be processed, tested and on dispensary shelves next month.

Spokeswoman Kerry Francis says delays in certifying testing labs that gauge potency and examine plant products for contamination has thwarted plans to make cannabis available this month.

She says large amounts of marijuana should be available at dispensaries starting early next year.

Nearly 320 doctors have registered to become recommending physicians for people who have one or more of Ohio's 21 qualifying medical conditions for legal cannabis use.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 10/2/18 4:35 P.M.

One of Ohio's large-scale medical marijuana cultivators expects to sell the state's first legal pot to licensed dispensaries sometime in December.

Buckeye Relief LLC, which is based outside of Cleveland in Eastlake, planted its first seeds on July 31 after the state granted the company permission to begin growing pot for Ohio's fledgling medical-marijuana industry.

Ohio is one of 30 states with some form of legalized marijuana. The General Assembly approved medical marijuana legislation in June 2016.

Majority owner Andy Rayburn said he was motivated to begin investing in the industry and create his own medical-marijuana business in Ohio after witnessing how the drug had helped a close friend dying of cancer.

Rayburn said he had heard countless stories since then about how people have benefited from medicinal use of marijuana.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 07/21/18

Ohio's delays in selecting processors and giving cultivators the green light to grow plants appear to have pushed the availability of medical marijuana further past the Legislature's Sept. 8 deadline.

The Columbus Dispatch reports a meeting between the Medical Marijuana Council and an advisory board Thursday provided no answer about when the state's program will finally become operational.

Cultivators have been selected, yet only two have permission to grow plants.

Testing labs are ready and physicians are in place to recommend medical marijuana, but no processors to turn plants into edibles, oils, creams and tinctures have been selected. A Commerce Department official says those licenses will be issued in the coming weeks.

A pharmacy board official says the patient registration portal will be activated closer to when marijuana becomes available.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 06/03/18

A report says Ohio's medical marijuana program will bring in about $11 million in fees even before the system is up and running.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that figure includes about $5.2 million in non-refundable application fees already collected from more than 650 prospective medical marijuana businesses.

The state will also collect about $2.6 million in licensing fees from 25 large and small cultivators who received provisional growing license, and another $2.6 million in annual license renewal fees from growers.

Ohioans with one of 21 medical conditions can legally buy and use medical marijuana if it's recommended to them by a physician.

On Monday Ohio officials planned to announce where the 56 medical marijuana dispensaries will be located.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 05/26/18

The medical marijuana program Ohio's set to launch later this year has been beset by questions.

It's unclear whether growing operations will be able to ramp up in time to meet initial demand, whether the rollout will be tangled up in legal and administrative red tape and whether enough doctors will sign up to serve needy patients.

Still, state officials say progress is being made ahead of the Sept. 8 launch date. Cultivators are mostly through the licensing process. One large growing site has been inspected and others are close behind.

A toll-free hotline will begin taking calls next month. The patient registry is supposed to go live in July.

The state also expects to award licenses to processors, dispensaries and testing labs within the next several weeks.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 05/23/18

A meeting where applicants seeking to operate Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries were supposed to learn whether they've received licenses has been postponed.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy said it canceled Wednesday's special meeting two days after it was announced because information gathering was incomplete.

A spokesman says the board is awaiting background check information and to verify that proposed locations are at least 500 feet from schools and churches.

The Ohio Department of Commerce didn't verify whether applicants met minimum requirements before awarding grower licenses. At least four sites failed to meet the 500-foot buffer rule.

The pharmacy board can award dispensary licenses for as many as 57 sites statewide. There were 376 applications. Winners will now be announced at the board's three-day monthly meeting beginning June 4.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


ORIGINAL STORY: 11/19/17

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy has extended hours to apply for medical marijuana dispensary licenses to accommodate a flood of last-minute filings.

Spokesman Cameron McNamee (MAK'-nuh-mee) said Friday's 2 p.m. deadline was moved to 6 p.m.

He said the board continued to digitally monitor in-process applications as the deadline approached and was hopeful all of them could be completed without additional time being needed.

Ohio is ramping up its first medical marijuana system, which is set to go live by September 2018.

The state is offering 60 dispensary licenses to be distributed geographically around the state in regional dispensary districts that each have a separate cap. No single company can own more than five dispensaries.

The state application fee was $5,000.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



 
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