Ohio recreational marijuana: Applications open today for dual-use dispensaries (2024)

View a previous interview with Sunnyside Medical Marijuana Dispensary’s Kierston Powell, who signaled intent to apply to also sell recreational cannabis, in the video player above.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio is one step closer to recreational marijuana sales, as applications for the state’s medical dispensaries to sell both opened Friday.

The Ohio Division of Cannabis Control, created after voters passed Issue 2 to legalize adult-use cannabis in November, is overseeing the rollout. The agency is now taking paperwork from any medical marijuana facility with an existing certificate of operation to convert them to dual-use dispensaries. DCC Public Information Officer Jamie Crawford said that the dispensaries would get dual-use licenses, while medical marijuana growing facilities could apply for “10(B) permits” that give them up to three dispensary licenses at locations they detail in their application.

“The Division of Cannabis Control will review and process the applications roughly in the order that they have been received,” Crawford said.

While the DCC looks at September as its deadline to get those licenses back to the, thelawmakers’ committee that approved its dual-use dispensary program hintedthat sales could start faster than anticipated.

“I think we will see that by mid-June,” said Republican Rep. Jamie Callender, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review. “I’m hoping that’s the case.”

Crawford did not give any dates, but said the turnaround could run “relatively quickly” when asked about the timing from application submission to licenses issued, followed by a certificate of operation.

“There will be no one singular day when sales begin,” Crawford said. “We will start issuing licenses and it will be up to the retailer based on staffing, stock and other considerations as to which day they will begin sales.Given the foundation already laid through the Medical Marijuana Control Program, current medical permit holders positioned to apply for dual-use status who have already undergone many of the comprehensive checks are anticipated to have a much quicker turnaround for issuance of licenses over the summer.”

He outlined two steps after a dispensary applies that need to be completed for that company to receive the license:

  • Meeting inspection requirements
  • Integrating point-of-sale systems at each dual-use facility, which need to distinguish between medical and non-medical sales at check out, as well as take into account the excise tax that will be part of non-medical sales.

On the growing side,Cresco Labs in Yellow Springshas already planted its inaugural crop of marijuana intended for recreational sales. And medical marijuana shopSunnyside — under the same parent company — already signaled intent previously to apply to become adual-use dispensary. Senior Marketing Manager Kierston Powell said her company isn’t alone in doing so, and it will result in a flood of new vendors in Ohio.

“Post adult-use, the game plan is about 300 dispensaries in the state of Ohio,” Powell said. “There will be multiple dispensaries to choose from, but it’s not necessarily going to be every corner of the block.”

Crawford shared numbers on just how many medical dispensaries have the opportunity to apply as of Friday, agreeing with Powell’s estimate that storefronts will more than double.

“There are 126 medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the state, plus six that have only provisional licenses. Additionally, under the initiated statute as referenced above, certain medical operators will get one or three additional dispensary licenses as provided by the initiated statute,” Crawford said. “Based on that math, you could potentially be adding another 150-200 dispensaries across the state on top of those already existing locations in the medical marijuana program.”

Sunnyside has locations in Ohio and the Midwest at large, and also brings past experience with making the switch from exclusively selling prescription cannabis to offering both in other states. The company operates medical dispensaries in towns including Chillicothe and Newark. At its existing locations, Powell said her team would be prepping while they wait for the license to arrive.

“From a back-of-house perspective, not much is changing,” Powell said. “From a front-of-house perspective, we’re going to expand, make more space for more people to come in and out of our stores. The process for a shopping experience will be very similar to what a med patient would be experiencing.”

Crawford said alongside rolling out recreational marijuana sales, his agency is also planning to launch support for Gov. Mike DeWine’s call for a ban on cannabis-adjacent products like Delta-8.

“As the division prepares to introduce products that have met its highest standards of testing and safety, all of which will carry the DCC seal, we must ensure dangerous, unregulated products such as Delta-8 are removed from circulation,” Crawford said.

View a copy of the dual-use application instructions that the DCC provided for the state’s existing medical dispensaries below.


Ohio recreational marijuana: Applications open today for dual-use dispensaries (2024)
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