Even though Ohio’s September 8 deadline passed with no start to the medical marijuana program, officials in the state say delays are expected. The program is one of such magnitude and began from nothing, which means there are bound to be hiccups.

Tom Rosenberg, the executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association of Ohio, noted that the regulated industry is bound to take some time to get going. However, by the time sales begin, licensees will have invested more than $100 million.

As it stands, certification is progressing as planned, with more than 250 doctors, four labs for testing and 40 processors already passing the required testing. Meanwhile, 26 growers and 56 dispensaries are certified and ready for the program to begin.

One license that was issued is already in the process of being revoked, showing awareness and transparency within the program. According to officials, OhiGrow LLC was “generally nonresponsive” after receiving their license in November. The small-scale growth site is owned by a physician who lives in the Chicago area. The group was one of 12 small-scale growers and 12 large-scale growth sites to receive licenses in November 2017.

Officials noted that the plans outlined in the group’s initial application were appealed, with significant changes planned. However, nothing moved forward. With no notable progress in growth by August, which was the deadline for initializing marijuana growth, and no communication, the process to revoke the license was initiated. The group still has the right to appeal this decision. Although only four of the 24 met the deadline, most recipients applied for extensions or otherwise communicated with officials regarding their progress.

In September, two additional licenses were issued, one to a large growth site and another to a small growth site. With planned inspections throughout the rest of the month, approximately 13 growth sites are expected to be showing progress.

Each site is given nine months from the time the license is issued to begin growing. With 26 licenses issued already (including two issued in May and July 2018), marijuana production is expected to meet the demand from Ohio residents sometime in 2019.

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