Ohio Governor Pushes for Dual-Use Cannabis Dispensaries

Dual-Use Cannabis Dispensaries

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is urging state legislators to approve a proposal that would allow medical cannabis dispensaries to also cater to adult-use customers, following voter approval of adult-use cannabis but without the implementation of a market.

Voter Confusion and Frustration

Ohioans voted to legalize adult-use cannabis in November 2023, but the state has not yet established a regulatory framework for the new industry. This has caused confusion and frustration among some potential customers who are unaware of the legal status of cannabis in the state.

Nikko Griffin, General Manager at Nar Reserve Dispensary in downtown Columbus, said he receives phone calls every day from people asking if they sell recreational cannabis.

“We get phone calls all day long from people asking if we sell recreationally, and people don’t know, and that is the biggest problem,” Griffin said.

Griffin added that he is eager for the opportunity to serve adult-use customers, as he believes it would boost his business and benefit the community.

 Dual-Use Cannabis Dispensaries

“We are ready to implement it overnight. I think that is where a lot of dispensaries are at too and Nar Reserve is no different. The moment we get that license or we know we are getting it, we will be ready to roll it out that day,” he said.

Governor’s Proposal

To address the issue, Governor DeWine is calling on Ohio lawmakers to pass a proposal that would enable the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries to apply for dual-use licenses that could serve both the medical and adult-use retail markets. The Ohio Division of Cannabis Control Board has already proposed such a plan, which would require dispensaries to pay a $50,000 fee and comply with certain rules and regulations.

DeWine said he supports the proposal as a way to expedite the launch of the adult-use market and avoid the delays and complications that other states have faced.

“I think it makes sense to allow the existing dispensaries to sell to both markets, as long as they follow the law and the rules. This would save us a lot of time and hassle, and it would also generate more revenue for the state and the local communities,” DeWine said.

DeWine also said he hopes the proposal would discourage the illicit cannabis market, which he said poses a threat to public health and safety.

“We don’t want people to buy cannabis from the black market, where they don’t know what they are getting, and where they could be exposed to dangerous substances or criminal activity. We want to provide a safe and regulated option for the people who voted to legalize cannabis in Ohio,” he said.

Legislative Response

The governor’s proposal has received mixed reactions from state legislators, who have the final say on the matter. Some lawmakers have expressed support for the idea, while others have raised concerns or opposition.

Senator John Eklund, a Republican who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he is in favor of the proposal, as he thinks it is a pragmatic and sensible solution.

“I think the governor is right to push for this. It is a common-sense approach that would respect the will of the voters and the needs of the industry. It would also avoid the bureaucratic red tape and the legal challenges that other states have faced when trying to implement adult-use cannabis,” Eklund said.

However, Senator Cecil Thomas, a Democrat who serves on the same committee, said he is skeptical of the proposal, as he thinks it would create unfair advantages for the existing dispensaries and limit the opportunities for new entrants.

“I think the governor is wrong to rush this. It is a short-sighted and self-serving move that would favor the current dispensary owners and exclude the potential entrepreneurs and social equity applicants who want to participate in the adult-use market. It would also reduce the competition and the diversity in the industry, which would harm the consumers and the economy,” Thomas said.

The proposal is expected to face further debate and scrutiny in the coming weeks, as lawmakers try to reach a consensus on the best way to regulate the adult-use cannabis market in Ohio.

By Oliver Davies

Oliver Davies is a dedicated marijuana and drugs news writer at CBD Strains Only. With a background in journalism and a passion for staying informed about the latest developments in the marijuana industry, Oliver's articles provide valuable insights and analysis. Through his expert reporting, Oliver aims to keep readers up-to-date on the ever-evolving landscape of marijuana and drug-related news.

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