The Ohio Board of Pharmacy received 1,463 applications for the state’s 73 new cannabis dispensary licenses ahead of a Nov. 18 application deadline, according to a Cincinnati.com report.
Regulators approved an increased number of medical cannabis retailers earlier this year, increasing the total number of dispensaries in the state from 57 to 130.
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy officially launched the application process for the new retail licenses Sept. 20.
State officials split Ohio into 31 dispensary districts and charted where the state’s 56 operational cannabis retailers are located. The winning applications will be selected through a lottery with applications randomly ordered in each dispensary district, and only the selected applications will undergo a vetting process to ensure they meet the state’s criteria in an effort to expedite the licensing process.
The dispensary licenses will be allocated by county or a cluster of counties, Cincinnati.com reported, with nine awarded to businesses in Franklin County, eight in Hamilton County and two in Summit County.
Winning applicants will ultimately receive provisional dispensary licenses and can then begin building out their retail facilities.
Ohio regulators are also allowing the state’s medical cannabis cultivators to expand their operations to coincide with the increased number of dispensaries. The expansion allows Ohio’s 20 licensed Level I growers, who can currently cultivate up to 25,000 square feet of cannabis, to grow up to 50,000 square feet, and the state’s 15 licensed Level II growers, who can currently cultivate up to 3,000 square feet, to grow up to 6,000 square feet.