The first Ohio medical marijuana dispensary was approved to make sales to qualifying patients as of last week. The only problem is they are still waiting on cannabis products that have been tested by licensed testing laboratories, and unfortunately none of the testing facilities have been licensed yet.
First Marijuana Dispensary in Ohio
In the quaint Ohio village of Wintersville, Cresco Labs has established CY+, a medical marijuana retailer, to service MMJ patients with inventory harvested from their cultivation operation. CY+ was the first Ohio medical marijuana dispensary to receive their certificate of operation after regulators completed their final inspection in late November.
CEO of Cresco Labs, Charles Bachtell, noted that "Receiving the first approval to operate is a major milestone in the transformation of the cannabis program in Ohio.” Batchell also oversees the 50,000 sq ft cultivation facility in Yellow Springs which will soon be harvesting their first crop.
Delayed Cannabis Testing
Now CY+ is just playing a waiting game to see when testing labs receive their provisional licenses so they can test cannabis for quality and THC/CBD levels. Cultivators are still in the process of harvesting, drying, and curing marijuana so they can submit their samples as soon as the testing facilities are permitted.
Ohio university, Hocking College, is preparing for the final inspection of their testing laboratory by state regulators on December 18th. Hocking College Lab Director, Jonathan Cachat, is confident that they will be approved for operation and hopes to start testing samples of medical marijuana as soon as December 19th.
Once they do begin testing cannabis samples, there will be 3-day testing period of cured flower, and even longer for topicals, edibles, and concentrates once manufacturers start producing these products. If all goes well, there will at least be a small quantity of medical marijuana available in retailers prior to 2019.
Limited Cannabis Inventory
As the first Ohio medical marijuana dispensary, CY+ and Cresco Labs are looking forward to the day they can make their first sale. At first it will probably stock a limited inventory due to delays in the supply chain, but they are planning to provide a wide variety of cannabis products for patients who have been approved for medical marijuana.
All of the hold-ups in the supply chain are giving CY+ ample time to train their staff, establish protocols, and develop a marketing strategy. Bachtell went on to say that, “Our Wintersville staff is trained by leading cannabis doctors and researchers across the country to ensure that that our patients’ specific needs are consistently met.''
Preparing for Dispensary Inspections
Currently there are seven licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in and around Cincinnati that are awaiting inspection. After receiving a provisional business license, each Ohio medical marijuana dispensary should obtain their certificate of operation within 180 days. However, every time there is a small change to the construction or documentation, retailers are required to submit a variance and request an extension.
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