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185 People Are Competing For 24 Marijuana Cultivator Licenses

The last deadline for medical marijuana cultivator applications has passed, and a total of 18 applicants are seeking approval to open sites in the Columbus area.

Most of the applicants probably won’t get licenses because the state will only award a limited number, according to Anthony Celebrezze, the assistant director for the Columbus Department of Building and Zoning Services.

The Ohio Department of Commerce will issue 24 cultivator licenses for the whole state — 12 Level I licenses and 12 Level II licenses. Level I cultivators can initially have up to 25,000 square feet of cultivation area, while Level II cultivators can have up to 3,000 square feet. However, licensed cultivators can submit expansion requests.

The Ohio Department of Commerce said it has received a total of 109 Level I applications and 76 Level II applications.

Medical Marijuana Cultivator Fees

Fee TypeLevel ILevel II
Application$20,000$2,000
Licensing$180,000$18,000
Annual License Renewal$200,000$20,000

The acceptance periods were from June 5 to June 16 for Level II applications and June 19 to June 30 for Level I applications. Two companies have applied for a cultivation site at 4160 Roberts Road, and another listed two locations.

A local zoning representative has to sign a 1G Notice of Proper Zoning Form, which indicates the applicant has communicated with zoning officials regarding relevant codes. For Columbus applicants, a local zoning representative has confirmed the city does not have a moratorium on medical marijuana by signing the form.

Records of those forms, provided by the city, offer insight into possible locations for cultivation sites in Columbus.

The Cincinnati Enquirer requested records of cultivator applications received by the state, and the paper reported that the Ohio Department of Commerce claims the applications don’t qualify as public records yet.

Let’s boil this down: The state will only hand out 24 licenses — 12 for larger sites and 12 for smaller ones — in a state with 88 counties. A total of 185 businesses sent in applications, and 18 of them were for the Columbus area. Many of the applicants won’t be approved.


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