With Ohio’s cultivation application period having closed at the end of June, the state has made quick turnaround time to release information on cultivation applicants. On July 5, 2017, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program announced that it received 185 applications from prospective cultivators.
The DOC had 109 applicants for the 12 available Level I licenses, which permits a licensee to cultivate up to 25,000 square feet, and 76 applicants for the 12 available Level II licenses, which permits a licensee to cultivate up to 3,000 square feet. After Sept. 8, 2018, Ohio can choose to increase the number of licenses as well as expand cultivation space limits to meet additional demand.
There are a couple of familiar business and contact names on the state’s list of applicants, including Andy Joseph, founder of Johnstown-based Apeks Supercritical, a manufacturer of subcritical and supercritical CO2 botanical oil extraction systems used by many in the legal marijuana industry for marijuana extracts.
Matt Borges, former Ohio Republican Party Chairman, was listed as the contact for Blu Script LLC, a Level I license application. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Borges helped the company with its application, but he doesn’t have a financial stake in Blu Script.
If awarded a cultivation license, a Level I licensee will have to pay a $180,000 initial license fee, with a $200,000 annual license renewal fee, and a Level II licensee will have to pay a $18,000 initial license fee, with a $20,000 annual license renewal fee. This is in addition to the $20,000 application fee for Level I applicants and the $2,000 application fee for Level II applications.
While state law requires that the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program be fully operational by Sept. 8, 2018, it’s unclear as to when the program will award the actual cultivation licenses.