Ohio seeks tighter control

Ohio seeks tighter control
January 4, 2020


COLUMBUS – Ohio officials plan to rein in medical marijuana companies that change hands or promise to in the future without first obtaining state approval.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy bars dispensary ownership changes until after a shop has been open for 12 months.

The proposed rules specifically address options to acquire licenses in the future, loans and management service agreements for other companies to perform certain duties, such as payroll and marketing. The Enquirer uncovered more than 20 such arrangements among publicly traded companies in an October investigation.

The Enquirer found one situation where the company was to be paid 90% of the dispensary’s net profits.

The pharmacy board’s interpretation of ownership changes has caused delays for several businesses.  Greenleaf agreed to pay a $300,000 fine to settle the dispute.

Licenses for Harvest of Ohio’s dispensaries in Athens, Columbus and Dayton are still on hold, Reed said Thursday.

 The agency issued guidance for ownership changes last month.

About Ohio’s medical marijuana program

More than 74,700 patients have registered to buy and use medical marijuana to treat chronic pain, PTSD and other illnesses through November.

Ohio has sold $49.4 million of medical marijuana since January. Data from the Department of Commerce shows the average price has gone down to about $330 for an ounce of dried flower from about $480 an ounce in January.

Have your say on rule changes

The dispensary ownership rules are part of a larger package proposed by the pharmacy board.

  • allowing use of non-child resistant packaging upon request,
  • using a standard THC! label on all products containing the intoxicating compound,
  • allowing former state employees receiving disability benefits through a state retirement system to obtain product discounts,
  • standardizing units of dried flower so the smallest container is equivalent to one day of a patient’s 90-day supply.

The rules and instructions for comment can be found at https://www.medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov/Rules