Medical marijuana dispensaries can now apply to sell recreationally

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Recreational marijuana sales are one step closer to reality in Ohio.

On Friday, medical marijuana facilities can begin applying for dual licenses.

This would give them the ability to sell and prescribe the substance under one roof.

These applications are only for the more than 130 current medical marijuana license holders statewide.

Officials emphasize that there is still no clear timetable for when recreational marijuana sales could begin.

According to experts, this could take several weeks or even months.

The Cannabis Control Division will review and process these applications as they are sent by the medical marijuana dispensaries.

Experts say the turnaround time for licensing is expected to be much faster as they already have the prior medical sales license.

The state Division of Cannabis Control will determine who will receive the duplicate licenses after an inspection and detailed investigation.

Once approved, the facilities can be sold to people aged 21 and over.

Local facilities are prepared for an influx of customers.

“We expect that we could see another, you know, two to three million adult use cases here almost overnight in the next few weeks,” said Pete Nischt, vice president of Compliance and Communications for Klutch Cannabis.

With the expected increased number of users, distributors say they are moving through the process and will continue to prioritize those with critical medical needs.

“We’re going to do our best here as an industry to make sure that patients are accommodated and the Cannabis Control Department is mandating that these things take place,” Nischt said.

Once all is said and done, applicants will undergo thorough and detailed inspections of their facilities to determine the ground rules governing the sale of medical products and adult use.

This may mean expanding staff, creating separate lines for customers and patients, adapting point-of-service systems and ensuring there is sufficient product offering.

“All of our facilities will be ready as soon as we receive an operating certificate,” Nischt said.

News 5 will continue to monitor what happens next with the dual licensing process.