Existing Medical Marijuana Cultivators Permitted to Grow to Meet Patient Demand

September 22, 2021Articles

The Ohio Department of Commerce (Department) recently announced licensed medical marijuana cultivators who are maxing out their grow area capacity will be permitted to apply for an expansion. Presently, there are 20 Level I cultivators capable of growing up to 25,000 square feet of medicinal marijuana, and 15 Level II cultivator licensees that are smaller in scale and permitted up to 3,000 square feet of grow capacity. The expansion will allow Level I cultivators to expand up to 50,000 square feet and Level II license holders up to 6,000 square feet.

In reviewing expansion requests, the Department will be approving only those who have been in good operational standing for at least one year, have no prior enforcement actions, are regularly using the maximum amount of space currently allowed, and demonstrate a need to expand their grow capacity. Interested licensees will be required to provide a narrative and supporting documentation, and must demonstrate the facility floor plan and new construction are in support of the reasonable and regular use of the proposed cultivation area expansion. Cultivators who have excess product may not receive approval of a cultivation area expansion.

The move by the Department follows a lawsuit filed by a licensed cultivator who sued the agency after the Department failed to act on its February 2020 request to expand. Additionally, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy has recently announced that it will be accepting applications and issuing new dispensary licenses to meet patient demand and increase accessibility.[i]  Department representative Jennifer Jarrell said, “The timing allows eligible cultivators’ ample opportunity to expand their cultivation capacity and production before the additional dispensaries become operational.”

Ohio cultivators can find a link to the area expansion application here. Applications will be accepted starting October 1, 2021.

Should you have questions about the expansion application or Ohio’s medical marijuana program in general, please contact your Dinsmore attorney.