Ohio Cannabis Cultivator License
The state of Ohio legalized medical cannabis in 2016 through House Bill 523, which established a legal way for eligible patients in the state to acquire and use medicinal cannabis as a form of therapy for their condition. Medicinal cannabis is available through state-licensed companies that are permitted to cultivate, manufacture, and sell medical cannabis.
Medical marijuana producers are licensed and regulated by the Ohio Department of Commerce. Level I cultivators are allowed to start with a marijuana growing space of up to 25,000 square feet. Level II cultivators are authorized to run a 3,000-square-foot first marijuana growing facility. Licensees may submit a request for expansion in accordance with the cultivation regulations.
The current application period for cultivators is closed. To get updates on new application periods, sign up for updates on the MMCP homepage.
Requirements to obtain an Ohio cannabis license
The marijuana regulatory agency must approve a license application and issue a state license if the following criteria is met:
- The applicant has submitted an application in compliance with the rules adopted by the marijuana regulatory agency, is in compliance with this chapter and the related rules, and has paid the required fee;
- Municipalities must:
- The municipality or township in which the proposed marihuana establishment will be located notifies the marijuana regulatory agency that the proposed marihuana establishment is in compliance with all ordinances or resolutions adopted in accordance with section 3775.04 of the Revised Code and that are in effect at the time of application;
- If the municipality or township does not send a notification within thirty days of receiving a copy of the the application, the marijuana regulatory agency shall consider the applicant to be in compliance with all relevant ordinances or resolutions.
- The property where the proposed marihuana establishment is to be located is not within an area zoned exclusively for residential use and is not within one thousand feet of a pre-existing public or private school providing education in kindergarten or any of grades one through twelve, unless a municipality or township adopts an ordinance or resolution that reduces this distance requirement;
- The applicant has submitted an attestation signed by a bona fide labor organization stating that the applicant has entered into a labor peace agreement with the bona fide labor organization.
Further, all licensees must maintain a labor peace agreement entered into with a bona fide labor organization.
Causes of denial of an Ohio marijuana license
The marijuana regulatory agency won’t approve an application if any person who would hold an ownership interest in the proposed establishments meets any of the following:
- The person holds an ownership interest in both a marihuana safety compliance facility or a marihuana secure transporter and in a marihuana grower, a marihuana processor, a marihuana retailer, or a marihuana microbusiness;
- The person holds an ownership interest in both a marihuana microbusiness and in a marihuana grower, a marihuana processor, a marihuana retailer, a marihuana safety compliance facility, or a marihuana secure transporter;
- Except as provided in division (E)(3)(b) of this section, the person holds an ownership interest in more than five marihuana growers or in more than one marihuana microbusiness.
The marijuana regulatory agency may approve a license application from a person who holds an ownership interest in more than five marihuana growers or more than one marihuana microbusiness if, after January 1, 2025, the department of commerce adopts a rule authorizing an individual to hold an ownership interest in more than five marihuana growers or in more than one marihuana microbusiness.
Also, an applicant will not receive a license if a municipality or township limits the number of marihuana establishments that may be licensed in the municipality or the unincorporated areas of the township pursuant to section 3775.04 of the Revised Code and that limit prevents the marijuana regulatory agency from issuing a state license to all applicants who meet the requirements of division
Duration of the Ohio marijuana license
All state licenses are effective for one year, after which every licensee will be able to file for the renewal of the license. The marijuana regulatory agency must renew the license upon receipt of a complete renewal application and a renewal fee from any marijuana establishment, as long as the establishment is in good standing.
In accordance to Ohio’s current rules, the fees for a marijuana license are as follow:
- Level I cultivator license application fee: $20,000.
- Must establish and maintain an escrow account in a chartered financial institution in Ohio in the amount of $750,000.
- Level II cultivator license application fee: $2,000.
- Must establish and maintain an escrow account in a chartered financial institution in Ohio in the amount of $75,000.
Ohio Cultivators Expansion of Operations
Ohio authorities will now enable medical marijuana cultivators to request an expansion of their production facilities, potentially alleviating product shortages, increasing sales, and allowing cultivators to better meet patient demand.
Cultivators that have exhausted their available space and can demonstrate the need for more area to fulfill demand will be granted permission to expand. The licensees must be in good standing with regulators.
Ohio has 20 cultivators who are licensed for up to 25,000 square feet of canopy and 15 cultivators who can grow up to 3,000 square feet.
The new rules would allow licensees to expand to 75,000 square feet and 9,000 square feet, respectively.
Regulators have not yet issued details about how the growers can request expansion.
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