As the Ohio Department of Commerce prepares to give licenses to medical marijuana growers, some entrepreneurs want the state to restrict licensees to only those who live in Ohio, according to a March 21, 2017, article in The Plain Dealer.
Ohio’s medical marijuana law allows the Department of Commerce to grant licenses to 12 large growing operations and 12 small growing operations. A company’s location, ownership and intention to hire Ohioans are considerations in the Department of Commerce review process, but they are not deciding factors.
At a public hearing on March 20, 2017, some business owners argued licenses for out-of-state businesses would result in employment for out-of-state workers.
“We’re the ones who fought for this,” said Kelly Mottola, owner of Hydro Innovations in Hilliard, Ohio. “Allowing people from outside the state is not benefiting Ohio or Ohioans or our unemployment.”
But Kevin Schmidt of the Marijuana Policy Project said some out-of-state companies might have more experience, and thus have a competitive edge in their license applications. Schmidt said a possible solution, during the first year of the licensing program, would be to require Ohio ownership or a controlling interest on an application.