Ohio will permit medical cannabis cultivators to broaden operations amid supply shortages

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Medical cannabis growers in Ohio can now request an expansion of their cultivation operations after a rule change was recently confirmed by Ohio regulators. 

With cultivators being given the green light to expand their operations, it’s likely that sales revenue will soar. 

Moreover, since growers have been given permission to expand their output, there is less risk of product shortages and patient demand issues occurring.

It should be noted that only growers who have used up all their space will be granted the opportunity to broaden their cannabis cultivation operations in Ohio.

An overview of Ohio’s medical cannabis cultivation expansion rules

In order to be given the go-ahead for cultivation expansion, growers must prove that they require additional space to meet consumer demand. Furthermore, cannabis farmers must maintain a healthy relationship with regulators, including regulators from the Ohio Department of Commerce.

Currently, a total of 20 cultivators serve Ohio’s growing medical cannabis market. Each licensee is able to grow the plant over 25,000 square feet of canopy. In addition to this, 15 cultivators are permitted to grow the plant over 3,000 square feet of space.

The new regulation would also enable licensees to expand their grow sites to 75,000 square feet and 9,000 square feet, respectively. Currently, regulators have not divulged details about how Ohio’s cannabis cultivators can seek expansion, but the Ohio Board of Pharmacy has already unveiled plans to increase the number of dispensaries, with 73 already having been added to the existing 58.

Ohio is watching two unique paths to adult-use legalization transpire

Aside from Ohio’s medical cannabis market, the state is also leaning towards the establishment of a legal adult-use market. One avenue focuses on a traditional legislative process, whereas the other one aims to legalize the plant through an initiated statute that has been suggested by members of a group known as the “Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol.”

Not only would adult-use cannabis legalization in Ohio end cannabis prohibition but also, it would develop the Division of Cannabis Control in the Ohio Department of Commerce for regulation, as well as create a Social Equity Fund and enable medical cannabis cultivators/dispensaries to expand their horizons in the direction of the adult-use market.

Taxes generated through Ohio’s prospective adult-use market stand to benefit social equity applicants. The initiated statute would impose 36 percent of the tax on cannabis products to create the Cannabis Social Equity and Jobs Fund; taxes would provide assistance to people who wish to get involved in the recreational cannabis industry. Proposed taxes would also help fund cannabis research, education, and maintain public roads and bridges.