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Ohio’s Adult-Use Cannabis Rollout: Dispensary Licenses Could Arrive Next Month

The political deadlock keeping Ohio’s adult-use cannabis rollout in limbo has finally been broken, meaning dispensary licenses could now be granted next month.

Yesterday, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review gave final approval to regulations that will allow existing medical cannabis dispensaries to apply for dual-use licenses no later than June 07.

As Business of Cannabis reported previously, Ohians voted by a 57% majority to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state in November 2023, giving regulators a deadline of September 07, 2024, to fully implement the programme and begin awarding licenses.

The following month, the state Senate passed a proposal to allow medical dispensaries to begin selling adult-use cannabis immediately, in an effort to speed up access for voters.

However, as this amendment also sought to limit home grow, reduce THC levels and heavily restrict vapes, among dozens of other changes to the original bill, the House refused to move forward with it, arguing it goes against the will of the people.

Following months of stalemate and inaction on the bill, the state’s medical cannabis operators say they’ll be ready to start selling adult-use cannabis immediately once licenses are granted.

Tom Haren, spokesperson for Ohio Cannabis Coaltion, said: “Our members have obviously been anticipating the rollout of adult-use sales. They’ve been working on getting processes in place, making whatever changes they need to procedures. We’re really excited.”

He added that the Division of Cannabis Control (DCC) has been working tirelessly to meet the deadlines set out in the original legislation, and that he expected the majority of medical cannabis dispensaries to apply for dual licenses.

Jim Canepa, superintendent of the DCC, refused to give any solid timelines on how long license approvals could take, but suggested that as medical cannabis dispensaries had already ‘gone through all the traps’ to receive their medical licenses, the process should not be very complicated.

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