Ohio Marijuana Dispensary License Application

Ohio marijuana dispensary license

Ohio Marijuana Dispensary License Application

Updated: October, 2021

With overwhelming evidence supporting medical marijuana’s potential to improve the qualify of life for Ohio residents, state lawmakers passed House Bill 523 in the summer of 2016. The passage of this law made medical marijuana legal everywhere across the great State of Ohio!

In Ohio, qualified patients may possess and use medical marijuana. State licenced businesses may dispense, cultivate, lab test and process marijuana.

Recently Ohio approved the licensing of 73 new dispensaries, so now is the perfect time to start preparing in order to apply for an Ohio marijuana dispensary license.

Overview of Ohio dispensary licenses

Ohio has made available application materials and information for up to 73 more provisional medical marijuana dispensary licenses that the state intends to grant in the coming months. There are currently 57 dispensaries in Ohio, and if all 73 are legalized, the total number would be 130. Here are some important takeaways from the second wave of application information:

·       Application window: November 4, 2021 – November 18, 2021 (RFA II)

  • Application fee of $5,000
  • Applications are site-specific – must have eligible property secured prior to application
  • Up to 73 provisional dispensary licenses will be issued through a lottery process
  • The state is divided into 31 geographic dispensary districts and the drawing will occur according to available provisional dispensary licenses in each district
    • Applications must specify the districts in which they are applying
    • No owner may possess more than five (5) dispensaries in Ohio
  • Drive-Through Windows will be permitted
  • Must include site-specific plan, professionally prepared survey, signed form from local zoning official, etc



Requirements for an Ohio marijuana dispensary license

As previously done, RFA II will require applicants to specify the district(s) wherein they are applying, and provisional dispensary licenses will be awarded based on those districts. The districts will remain the same as in the previous RFA. Dispensary applications will then be evaluated to determine who is a qualified applicant.

All viable applications will then be entered into a lottery system, wherein individual lotteries will be held for each dispensary district with available licenses. A lottery system for qualified applicants requires the Board to consider objective, rather than subjective, criteria which can result in a fairer, more streamlined system for awarding dispensary licenses.

The Revised Code of Ohio establishes the following requirements in order to apply for a retailer license in Ohio:

  • Pay the application fee
  • Submit the application form
  • Submit documentation sufficient to establish that the applicant is in compliance with the applicable Ohio tax laws and any jurisdiction where the applicant has operated and conducted business within the last three years
  • A financial plan which must include:
    • Financial statements showing the resources of the applicant
    • If the applicant is relying on the money of an owner or board member, evidence that the person has unconditionally committed such money to the use of the applicant in the event that a dispensary license is awarded
    • Documentation from an institution in this state, or any other state in the United States or the District of Columbia, which demonstrates that the applicant has enough money to cover all expenses for the operation (no less than $250,000), and the source of those funds
  • A detailed description of the proposed organizational structure of the proposed dispensary
  • A background check for each owner, officer, or board member of the proposed dispensary
  • Documentation describing the adequacy of the size of the proposed dispensary to serve the needs of patients and caregivers, including -but not limited to- building and construction plans with supporting details
  • Plans for the care, quality, and safekeeping of medical marijuana from delivery to sale
  • A business plan
  • A plan to educate and manage the proposed dispensary on a daily basis
  • A proposal demonstrating how the dispensary will meet the needs of patients and caregivers
  • A detailed description of any other services or products to be offered by the proposed dispensary
  • Documentation related to any program to assist veterans or the indigent in obtaining medical marijuana that the proposed dispensary intends to offer
  • Any other document and information required by the board to determine the applicant’s suitability for licensure or to protect public health and safety

Additional requirements to apply for an Ohio marijuana dispensary license

According to House Bill 523, a person must file an application for each location from which it seeks to operate. In this sense, the application has to comply with section 3796.04 of the Revised Code (mentioned above).

Also, in order to get a license, the applicant has to demonstrate the following:

  • A report of criminal records check was conducted according to the Revised Code, in order to demonstrate:
    • That the person subject to the records check has not been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any disqualifying offenses.
    • If the person has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a disqualifying offense, this was more than five years before the date the application is filed.
  • The applicant doesn’t have ownership or investment interest in or compensation arrangement with any of the following:
    • A licensed marijuana laboratory
    • An applicant for a license to conduct laboratory testing
  • The applicant doesn’t share any corporate officers or employees with any of the following:
    • A licensed marijuana laboratory
    • An applicant for a license to conduct laboratory testing
  • The applicant won’t be located within five hundred feet of a school, church, public library, public playground, or public park
  • The applicant is in compliance with the state’s tax laws
  • The applicant meets all other licensure eligibility criteria

The Board has to issue at least fifteen percent of retail dispensary licenses to entities owned and controlled -meaning that at least fifty one percent of the business, including corporate stock if a corporation, is owned- by United States citizens who are residents of the state of Ohio and are members of one of the following economically disadvantaged groups:

  • Blacks or African Americans
  • American Indians
  • Hispanics or Latinos
  • Asians

If no applications -or an insufficient number of applications- are filed by these groups, the licenses would be issued according to usual procedures.

Steps of the Application:

  • Purchase the ‘Application Package’ which includes the following:
    1. The electronic application for a medical marijuana dispensary provisional license; and
    2. The Trade Secret Form, Zoning Form, Tax Authorization Form, and Release and Attestation, each of which must be completed as instructed and uploaded by the Applicant.
  • Complete every section of the online application form. For sections that require a written answer, the response is limited as noted in the table below. Additionally, questions where attachments are allowed are also noted in the table below:
Section of the Application Section Reference Sub-Section of the Application Question Reference Written Response Limit Attachment
Business Plan C-2 Site and Facility Plan C-2.1 N/A Mandatory
C-3 Business Startup Plan C-3.1 10,000 Characters Optional
C-3.2 8,000 Characters N/A
C-4 Description of Duties and Roles C-4.1 8,000 Characters Mandatory
C-5 Capital Requirements C-5.5 N/A Mandatory
C-6 Business History and Experience C-6.9 1,500 words N/A
Operations Plan D-2 Security and Surveillance D-2.2 10,000 Characters Optional
D-3 Receiving of Product D-3.3 8,000 Characters Optional
D-4 Storage of Product D-4.4 8,000 Characters Optional
D-5 Dispensing of Product D-5.5 8,000 Characters Optional
D-6 Inventory Management of Product D-6.8 8,000 Characters Optional
D-6.9 8,000 Characters Optional
D-7 Diversion Prevention of Product D-7.1 8,000 Characters N/A
D-8 Sanitation and Safety D-8.1 8,000 Characters N/A
D-9 Recordkeeping D-9.2 8,000 Characters N/A
D-10 Other D-10.1 8,000 Characters Optional
D-10.2 8,000 Characters N/A
D-10.3 8,000 Characters Optional
Patient Care Plan E-1 Staff Education and Training E-1.1 8,000 Characters Optional
E-1.2 10,000 Characters Optional
E-2 Patient Care and Education E-2.1 10,000 Characters Optional
E-2.2 8,000 Characters N/A
E-3 Patient Care Facilities E-3.1 8,000 Characters Optional

All attachments must be saved as PDF files. All documents responding to a single question must be combined into a single document. A PDF file size must not exceed ten megabytes. Files exceeding ten megabytes cannot be uploaded and will not be received by the Board.

The contents of the attachment must be clearly labeled. Images may contain brief descriptive captions. Additional language responding to questions will not be considered, unless otherwise indicated in the application. All attachments must be saved in accordance with the following file naming format: Question Number _Document Title.pdf.


  • C-2.1a_Facility Plans and Specifications.pdf
  • C-4.1_Table of Organization and Control.pdf

Background checks

Pursuant to section 3796.12 of the Revised Code and Rule 3796:6-2-07 of the Administrative Code, all Prospective Associated Key Employees, with at least a ten percent ownership interest in an Applicant, must submit fingerprints to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI&I) for a BCI&I and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal records check. Please note that the State Board of Pharmacy may require an owner or person who exercises substantial control over an Applicant to, but who has less than a ten percent ownership interest, to comply with statutory and regulatory ownership requirements. Criminal records checks may be submitted in one of two ways:

1.     . In Ohio, submit your electronic fingerprint impressions at a WebCheck provider which must be located in Ohio. The appropriate code to be entered by a WebCheck vendor is “3796.12.” Alternatively, the vendor may select, “other,” and enter, “3796.12.”

2.     Only if out-of-state, a Prospective Associated Key Employee may request fingerprint cards (each individual will need two—one for BCI&I and one for FBI) and take them to your local law enforcement agency to submit ink fingerprint impressions. Fingerprint cards may be ordered from BCI&I by calling (877) 224-0043. Please note that the submission of fingerprint cards by individuals who are out-of-state may cause the background check process to take up to eight weeks. All individuals are encouraged to submit electronic fingerprint impressions at a WebCheck provider when possible.

All fingerprint cards and two checks (one $22.00 check for the BCI&I check and one $24.00 check for the FBI check), both written to “Treasurer, State of Ohio,” must be mailed to:

Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation

PO Box 365

London, Ohio 43140

All background check results must be received by the State Board of Pharmacy before dispensary provisional licenses are awarded; if they are not received prior to the award of provisional licenses, the application will be considered abandoned. The Board is not responsible for delays in receiving background checks or errors in submitting fingerprints. The Board recommends submitting fingerprints for BCI&I and FBI background checks as early as possible.


Event Date
Publish RFA II September 20, 2021
First Q & A Period September 20 – October 6, 2021
Second Q & A Period October 17 – October 21, 2021
Application Acceptance Period Begins November 4, 201 at 8:00 a.m.
Application Acceptance Period Concludes November 18, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.




Licensed to practice since 2008, Thomas Howard has represented numerous financial institutions in litigation to enforce their security interests.
Homegrown Cannabis Co's Cannabis Seeds


Licensed to practice since 2008, Thomas Howard has represented numerous financial institutions in litigation to enforce their security interests.

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