In 2015 Ohio voters rejected an initiative that would have legalized recreational marijuana. Had the initiative been approved, Ohio would have become the first state in America to bypass medical legalization and go straight to recreational legalization. That of course didn’t happen. The initiative was defeated by a very wide margin. One provision of the initiative that voters expressed concern about what the monopoly on cultivation licenses. The 2015 initiative would have capped the number of entities that could grow marijuana for profit in the state at ten.
This year the Ohio Legislature legalized medical marijuana. The rules that will govern the medical marijuana program, and industry, are being formulated right now. News came out of Ohio this week that the Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee was considering a proposal that would cap the number of cultivators at 18. Per Dispatch:
Ohio’s proposed medical marijuana rules would limit the state’s total amount of space for growing pot to what amounts to less than four football fields.
New rules considered Tuesday by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee would permit 12 large growers and six smaller growers for the entire state, although that number could be increased later.
Each large grower would be allowed to cultivate marijuana on 15,000 square feet of land, about one-third of a football field, not including the end zones. For that, growers would pay a $20,000 application fee and an $180,000 licensing fees, under rules proposed by the Ohio Department of Commerce, which is charge of overseeing cultivation, processing and testing of marijuana under a new state law effective Sept. 8.
With such few licenses planning on being approved, the competition in Ohio is going to be fierce, similar to what we have seen in other states that have limited the number of licenses issued. Caps on cultivation are going to be bad for patients, who already can’t cultivate at home and will have to rely entirely on the winners of licenses for their medicine. If the proposal becomes reality, expect high prices in Ohio.