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Ohio to allow medical marijuana companies to expand after complaints about low supply, high prices

Marijuana Legalization
Posted at 5:19 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-04 11:22:17-04

CLEVELAND — Late Wednesday, the Ohio Department of Commerce announced it would start the process to allow medical marijuana cultivators to expand their growing area with applications that can be submitted on October 1.

Level I cultivators who are currently allowed to have facilities with 25,000 square feet of cultivation space will be allowed to expand to 50,000 square feet. Level II cultivators who have a maximum of 3,000 square feet of growing space will be allowed to expand to 6,000 square feet.

Bud tenders work on raw flower at a cultivation and processing facility in Ohio.

This comes just a day after the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, which oversees the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries, announced how it would be awarding an additional 73 dispensary licenses with an application process starting in November.

There’s a list of criteria for the applications to meet, like being in operation for at least a year, regularly using the space they already have, and demonstrating that they have a need for more space.

Marijuana plants wait to be harvested at Grow Ohio's cultivator facility in Zanesville, Ohio.

It’s a move that’s long-overdue for some medical marijuana companies. News 5 Cleveland reported in August 2020 that companies like Galenas in Akron were looking to expand.

Galenas Founder Geoff Korff said demand was still growing and he wants to expand his 3,000 square foot growing facility to 9,000 square feet of cultivation space.

Korff rolls shelving with multiple levels of marijuana plants through his Akron facility.

“I’ve been told that the hold up is that the state, up to this point, does not have a process to approve the expansion,” said Korff at the time.

The state’s new numbers come up a little short of Korff’s desired expansion plans since Galenas is a Level II cultivator and would be capped at 6,000 square feet for now. Korff says when recreational marijuana legalization comes to Ohio, he would want to expand even more.

You can find the state’s criteria here.

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