Many will apply, few will win. The race is on for prospective cultivators to present the best case possible to the Ohio Department of Commerce to be awarded one of the 24 medical marijuana farming licenses. The application to become a Level I (25,000 square foot facility maximum) or Level II (3,000 square foot facility maximum) cultivator was released last week with 12 licenses being awarded per Level. These applications will be meticulously scrutinized, with points awarded on each individual section like an applicant’s operations plan, quality assurance plan, and security plan. Applicants attempting to secure their future in Ohio’s medical marijuana should be aware of the following:
- The Ohio Department of Commerce posted a webinar to assist cultivators in preparing their application. The webinar reminds applicants that an electronic copy as well as a paper copy must be submitted in-person to the Ohio Department of Commerce.
- Level II applicants must submit their applications from June 5 through June 16. Level I applicants must submit their applications from June 19 through June 30. The Ohio Department of Commerce is also accepting appointments to schedule application drop off times.
- An Applicant’s operations plan will be given the highest percentage of total available points (35.4%) followed by the quality assurance plan (24.6%).
- The Ohio Department of Commerce will accept emailed questions addressed to email@example.com through May 5 for clarification on the cultivator applications. These questions will be summarized and answered on the Medical Marijuana Control Program website on May 12.
- From May 15 to May 19, the Ohio Department of Commerce will accept a second round of emailed questions regarding the cultivator application. These questions will be summarized and answered on the Medical Marijuana Control Program website on May 26.
- The application fees are non-refundable and Level I cultivators must pay $20,000 while Level II cultivators must pay $2,000 for their application to be considered.
Applicants should take the opportunity to review the applications closely and submit any questions they may have as soon as possible to the Medical Marijuana Control Program email address above. Applicants should be also mindful of the scoring to ensure they are dedicating their efforts to sections of the application that will yield the most points. Frost Brown Todd can assist cultivators with their applications.
*This does not constitute legal advice. Please note that marijuana is still illegal at the federal level and those participating in Ohio’s medical marijuana industry may be subject to federal prosecution.