Ohio has approved a mere seven processors to turn marijuana plant material into approved forms such as oils and edibles as the state’s medical marijuana programs quickly approaches a start date.
The Ohio Department of Commerce announced Friday that only seven out of the 104 applicants met the requirements to serve as a processor of medical marijuana.
Up to 40 licenses for processors could have been awarded by the state, but not nearly enough met the minimum requirements. Another six applicants could still receive licenses to process medical marijuana but are still awaiting background and tax checks.
Of the seven, two processors will be in Franklin County.
The seven current processors are:
• Fire Rock Processing Ltd. in Columbus
• Corsa Verde LLC in Columbus
• Ohio Grown Therapies, LLC in Johnstown
• Ohio Green Grow LLC in Toledo
• Greenleaf Therapeutics, LLC in either Geauga County or Lake County
• Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals, LLC in Muskingum County
• Standard Farms Ohio LLC in Cuyahoga County
Processors applied for the licenses in December. Winners were initially expected to be announced in spring, but after errors were found in the agency's scoring process June became the next target. The state then said it wanted to learn from previous mistakes and decided to take extra time when scoring the processors
Those receiving provisional licenses have six months to build their facilities and meet both state’s requirements and local zoning regulations before receiving an operating license.
Rejected applicants will have the chance to submit additional clarifying information with the hopes of receiving a license in the next scoring round.
The state’s medical marijuana program was initially supposed to be up and running by September, but state officials said in June the program would miss the deadline.
Delays in awarding licenses to virtually every component of the program ultimately postponed the start date. With processors now awarded and three cultivators approved to start growing cannabis, the product in theory could be ready for approved medical marijuana patients as early as October, with many involved in the fledgling industry expecting the program to be fully operational at some point this fall.