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Ohio approves first dual-use licenses for recreational marijuana sales, with 5 locations in Northeast Ohio

Recreational marijuana dispensaries are slated to be in Akron, Canton, and the Sandusky area, among other locations.

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SANDUSKY, Ohio — Ohio's Division of Cannabis Control has approved the first provisional licenses to sell recreational marijuana.

So far, 31 medical marijuana dispensaries have received regulators' pre-approval for dual-use recreational sales, including five located in Northeast Ohio.

They are:

  • The Forest Dispensary in Perkins Township, near Sandusky

  • CREAM Apothecaries in Elyria

  • Greenleaf Apothecaries in Akron

  • The Green Goat Dispensary in Canton

  • Italian Herbs Dispensary in Ashtabula

"Everyone wants to know when," said Jared Maloof, CEO of Standard Wellness, owners of The Forest Dispensary. "Everyone is waiting with anticipation with regard to when we are going to go."

The Forest Dispensary is hoping to make history once again, after being among the first medical dispensaries to open in Ohio in 2019. Now it is on the brink of being among the first to begin recreational sales.

Next for these provisionally licensed dispensaries is a final inspection of each location and a review of their standard operating procedures, followed by a one-on-one meeting with a regulator from the Division of Cannabis Control.

"Best guess? One to two weeks," Maloof surmised as to when recreational sales can begin.

Retail sales of recreational marijuana will first begin at Ohio's 127 existing marijuana dispensaries following the passage of Issue 2, the citizen-initiated statute that was approved by 57% of Ohio voters last November.

The DCC began accepting dual-use license applications on June 7, and industry insiders had anticipated that adult-use sales would begin by the end of June, but that date appears to now be headed for sometime in early or mid-July.

State regulators are making no promises, nor will the start date for recreational sales be the same for all medical dispensaries.

A spokesperson for the Department of Commerce said in a statement to 3News, "It’s important to keep in mind that, based on the criteria above, there will be no one singular day when sales begin. We will start issuing licenses and it will be up to the retailer based on staffing, stock and other considerations as to which day they will begin sales."

Maloof says his company is ready now.

"We've already hired up. We've brought on almost double the staff," he said. "We need that inspection, we need to meet with the department, and that will be it."

In addition to the dispensaries, the DCC has also approved a provisional dual-use processor license in Oberlin, a cultivator license in Ravenna Township, and Testing lab licenses in Akron and Streetsboro.



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