Ohioans are a little closer to having access to medical marijuana.
The state on Thursday released the list of 12 companies that were granted large-scale cultivation licenses, out of a pool of 109 that applied.
The awards come nearly a month after the state announced licenses for 11 small-scale growers out of a pool of 76 applicants.
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Here are five things to know:
1. Who else is like Ohio? Twenty-nine states have legalized medical use of marijuana and eight states have approved it for recreational use. Marijuana is still classified as a prohibited controlled substance under federal law with no recognized medical uses.
2. Controlling the process. The Medical Marijuana Control Program is jointly managed by the commerce department, pharmacy board and state medical board. Regulators have been busy writing rules and guidelines for growers, processors, testing labs, dispensaries, patients and caregivers as well as reviewing and scoring applications for licenses.
3. Who can have it? The law stipulates that patients meet one of 21 conditions to be allowed to use medical marijuana. The law that authorizes use by patients with 21 conditions, including cancer or chronic pain, in the form of edibles, oils, patches and vaporizing. Patients and their caregivers will be allowed to possess up to a 90-day supply. Smoking or home growing is barred.
4. 2 awarded in the area. Two companies were granted licenses to grow medical marijuana in the Miami Valley pm Thursday, one near Springfield and one in Yellow Springs. A company that planned to locate a growing facility in Carlisle was not among those approved.
5. The next step? The state will be granting licenses to companies looking to operate dispensaries. The state is reviewing 370 applications for up to 60 dispensary licenses. Private lab license applications are due Dec. 8, and processor license applications are due Dec. 15. The entire program, which is expected to be funded by fees, is required to be fully operational by Sept. 8, 2018.