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Ohio Blows Past Medical Marijuana Deadline

While Ohio blew past the deadline Saturday for rolling out its medical marijuana program, the pot industry is confident greener days are coming soon.

It’s not uncommon for states’ marijuana programs to be delayed, sometimes for years, by legal, regulatory or logistical snags, said Tom Rosenberger, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association of Ohio.

“When you think about it, you’re starting the most regulated industry the state probably has from scratch,” he said. “So getting that right takes a little bit of time.”

Licensees will combine to invest more than $100 million in Ohio even before sales have begun, Rosenberger said.

The three offices that share responsibility for Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program — the Commerce Department and the state medical and pharmacy boards — say Ohio’s two-year implementation schedule was aggressive.

They emphasized the progress that’s been made, including certifying about 250 doctors and provisionally licensing 26 large and small growers, four testing labs, 40 processors, and 56 dispensaries.

The state patient registry also is ready to go live when the time is right, said Tess Pollock, a spokeswoman for the state Medical Board. [Read more at WOSU Public Media]

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