The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program has awarded one more license for marijuana processors. That brings the total number of marijuana processors to an even ten.
The Ohio Medical Marijuana program was created in order to monitor the medical marijuana industry throughout Ohio. It is a collaboration between the State of Ohio board of Pharmacy, the State Medical Board of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Commerce.
Ohio Marijuana Processing Licenses
There are now ten provisional processing licenses in Ohio. They include:
Announced Aug. 31, 2018
162.72 - Purpose Leaf, LLC (Enon, Clark County)
Announced Aug. 16, 2018
174.00 – Green Investment Partners LLC (Columbus, Franklin County)
172.92 – Standard Wellness Company LLC (Gibsonburg, Sandusky County)
Announced Aug. 3, 2018
185.48 – Ohio Grown Therapies, LLC (Johnstown, Licking County)
182.00 – Fire Rock Processing Ltd. (Columbus, Franklin County)
177.28 – Ohio Green Grow LLC (Toledo, Lucas County)
176.72 - Greenleaf Therapeutics, LLC (Middlefield, Geauga County) *
172.20 – Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals, LLC (Newtown Township, Muskingum County)
156.52 – Standard Farms Ohio LLC (Garfield Heights, Cuyahoga County)
155.32 – Corsa Verde, LLC (Columbus, Franklin County)
According to the OMMCP's website, these are merely the first round of approvals. A second round of approvals will happen at a later date, once some clarifying questions have been answered by first round recipients. There are four processors still waiting for their licenses, pending background checks.
What is marijuana processing?
For those unaware, processors package and produce cannabis after receiving product from the state's marijuana cultivators. Processing is needed in order to package dry herb flower, in addition to creating oils, tinctures, edibles, creams and patches, just to name a few. Below is a quick breakdown of each of these delivery methods.
Dry Herb Vaping
As previously stated, smoking marijuana is strictly prohibited under Ohio’s medical marijuana law. However, buds will still be available to purchase for vaporizing at all dispensary locations across the state of Ohio. Though many patients may be disappointed to learn this, vaporizers are actually known to offer several health benefits over inhaling marijuana smoke.
While the marijuana plant is an incredible medicine, the act of burning it is less than desirable as any type of smoke contains gases and particulates that can create lung irritation and respiratory problems. And in relation to the odor, vaporizers typically have very minimal smell compared to the pronounced odor of marijuana smoke.
In essence, a vaporizer is a device that has a built-in heating component that cooks the THC and CBD off of the flower or oil without combusting plant material. A helpful analogy is to think of a vaporizer like an oven: the heating component in the vaporizer acts as the oven and bakes the medicine, creating a vapor (rather than smoke) that is then inhaled. So, instead of breathing in burnt plant matter and the additional harmful byproducts of smoke, you will be ingesting only the medicine that you need to feel instant relief!
Oil or Wax Vaping
Oil is a highly concentrated THC product — up to 2 times stronger than flower forms (70% THC per dose in comparison to 35% THC from flower)! Oils and wax often look like honey or amber, with a sticky, glass-like consistency.
Oils are loaded into the vaporizer chamber and heated, in a method sometimes referred to as “dabbing.” Some vaporizers have the ability to vaporize both flower and concentrated oils. However there are some devices that are specifically used for flower or for oils.
Oils can also be packaged in supplemental pill form, ingested like one would take any pill. These capsules will be filled with either THC, CBD, or a combination.
Ohio dispensaries will also have available a few different forms of consumables infused with THC or CBD. Common forms of edibles include brownies, cookies, lollipops and gummies, to name a few.
It is important to note that edible products can take up to an hour, or sometimes longer, for the effects to become apparent. Most consumable products can last for up to 4-6 hours, and can be quite strong or overwhelming if you are new to higher THC concentrations, so make sure that you portion your edibles out accordingly!
Furthermore, when an edible form of THC is consumed, the traditional chemical makeup of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is turned into 11-hydroxy-THC. This can render the edible up to 4 times stronger than traditional forms of medical marijuana consumption.
In addition to both the vaporizable products and edible products, Ohio has also approved THC and CBD-infused patches, lotions, creams, and ointments for topical administration. Topical treatments are often used to ease specific areas of the body. Cancer patients, for example, can use topical creams on their hands or feet to reduce the tingling sensation derived from chemotherapy treatments.
These delivery methods are absorbed through the skin, allowing patients to apply THC or CBD products directly to an affected area. Patients usually begin to feel relief with topicals within roughly an hour of application.
Tinctures contain a more concentrated form of THC or CBD and are made by infusing those compounds with a high-grade alcohol. Tinctures are most often packaged in an eyedropper. Like with any liquid medication, tinctures are used for oral ingestion. The drops can be placed under the tongue sublingually or directly into the mouth. Patients can also use this method to infuse their food with THC, CBD or both compounds.
This method is often used for those suffering from debilitating seizures, as side effects are minimal or mild. Tinctures are faster acting than most edibles, making it an ideal delivery method for those who don’t want to wait for their relief.
When will Ohio marijuana dispensaries open?Because of Ohio's strict guidelines about cultivating, testing, processing and selling marijuana, several companies within the medical marijuana industry have been delayed in starting their businesses. However, the tide is turning as cultivators are now growing marijuana. And soon, thanks to these licences, processors and testing facilities will be open. This means it will only be a matter of time until dispensaries welcome patients.
We at Ohio Marijuana Card know how frustrating it has been for medical marijuana card recipients that dispensaries are not open just yet, and are not likely to meet the September 8, 2018 deadline to be open. As a marijuana card holder myself, I share your frustration. Though a marijuana card grants patients an "affirmative defense" to possess, transport and use marijuana, many cannot buy cannabis very easily and have been hoping dispensaries would open sooner rather than later.
As always, Ohio Marijuana Card will keep you up to date on all Ohio medical marijuana news so that our customers, readers and medical marijuana advocates are well-informed about this issue. Fingers crossed that we'll see dispensaries by the end of the year! In the meantime, find out if you qualify for a medical marijuana card in Ohio.