Ohio Entrepreneurs urge Residency requirement for Medical Marijuana Licenses

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on March 21, 2017.

Majority of speakers at the final public hearing on marijuana cultivation rules in Ohio Monday urged regulators to issue a residency requirement for those granted licenses to grow medical marijuana under a new state law. They said medical marijuana licenses should be provided to Ohio residents only, at least for some initial period of times.

Kelley Mottola of Hilliard, owner of Hyro Innovations, said, she has family members and many customers who would benefit from medical marijuana business in the state. She is hopeful to get money together as to apply for a marijuana cultivation license.

“I feel that it's unreasonable for out-of-state individuals to get licenses," Mottola said. "Allowing people from outside the state is not benefiting Ohio or Ohioans or our unemployment."

Like Mottala, several other people spoke in favor of the residency requirement during the hearing. Some of them also pointed out that how Colorado required licensees live in the state at least two years before applying for a marijuana license.

However, Colorado lawmakers have recently reduced the residency requirement to one year and allowed greater out-of-state investment.

Ohio legislators approved a medical marijuana program last year, though rules are still being made. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy recently released its first draft of rules for dispensaries, adding more dispensaries from 40 up to 60, extended hours and no longer requiring pharmacists to be on call or on site.

The first draft of rules also dropped the permit fee to $70,000 every two years, bans coupons or discounts and allows for more access to advertise.

According to the Ohio medical marijuana board, dispensary rules are expected to be in place by Sept. 8, 2017, and for medical marijuana dispensaries to be fully operational in 2018.

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