The State of Ohio revealed the list of medical marijuana dispensaries which will be allowed to open this fall. The Board of Pharmacy awarded 56 licenses for dispensaries across the state. Five of those dispensaries will be in Franklin County.
â€œLeading up to today there were a lot of nerves,â€ said Shawnta Hopkins-Greene who applied for a dispensary in Downtown Columbus. â€œThereâ€™s a lot of excitement.â€
She was one of dozens of applicants who packed the Board of Pharmacy meeting Monday afternoon waiting to learn if they made the cut.
â€œWe were probably within ten points of the winning application so that is disappointing,â€ she said.
Five of the dispensaries are located in Columbus at the following locations:
The Board of Pharmacy took the past six months to decide which applications would get the green light to sell medical marijuana. Applications had to meet certain guidelines like not being located within 500 feet of a church or school. Applicants also could not have a felony conviction for violent crimes, theft or drug charges.
â€œFinally getting that aside is really going to put to rest a lot of the questions around whether September 8th is realistic or not,â€ said Thomas Rosenberger with the National Cannabis Industry Association of Ohio. â€œEverybody obviously wants it to move a little bit quicker than it did. Folks wanted to know months ago whether or not they got the licenses but I do think itâ€™s important the State did take the time to make sure they got it right.â€
The Department of Commerce was sued over how it handled awarding the cultivator licenses. Applicants like Hopkins-Greene said they still have doubts medical marijuana will be available for patients by the September 8th deadline.
â€œAt this point itâ€™s going to be nearly impossible unless some of these businesses just took that leap of faith and started building out prior to being awarded a license,â€ Hopkins-Greene said.
There were districts in the state where either no one applied for a dispensary or no oneâ€™s application qualified meaning some areas wonâ€™t have a dispensary nearby. More licenses could be awarded by the State if state officials decide thereâ€™s enough demand to warrant it.