In #Ohio, regulators plan to license 73 new #medical #cannabis #dispensaries, more than doubling the state’s current amount. The Ohio Board of #Pharmacy unanimously approved the decision based on concerns over patient accessibility, which include excessive driving distances to #shops as well as high product prices. Despite restrictive guidelines like purchase limits and insufficient #cultivation capacity, the state’s #MMJ program has continued to grow, with more than 176,000 registered patients as of #February. Under the board’s expansion plan, applicants will be subject to the same requirements as those used in the 2017 licensing round, such as security and #business plans. Because the previously-utilized scoring system prompted multiple lawsuits, officials chose to use a lottery this time, in which permit winners will be chosen from a #pool of all qualified applicants for each geographical district. Licensees will be limited to 5 #dispensary locations statewide, including their existing stores. According to executive director of the Ohio #Medical #Cannabis Industry Association Matt Close, the new total of 130 dispensaries is a fair number to please both patients and businesses, by improving access while maintaining #revenue viability. While a specific timeline was not released, the application process for the upcoming permits is expected to begin sometime after rules are finalized in mid-#May or #June.
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