Growers, processors, and sellers of Ohio’s medical cannabis sounded the alarm Tuesday about lawmakers’ approach to keeping the drug industry afloat.
Amid a medical cannabis program that’s hindered by a surplus of product and a dwindling patient population, Sens. Stephen Huffman (R-Tipp City) and Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) revived in January a proposal to reverse the 6-year-old program’s troubling tide. But critics – including one of the first Ohioans to earn a medical marijuana license – said it could destroy the already oversaturated market.
“It’s about economics 101. It’s supply and demand,” said Matt Close, executive director of the Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association. “And this is simply a massive cannabis expansion bill.”
Senate Bill 9 would expand who’s eligible for a medical cannabis recommendation, increase the number of dispensaries and give cultivators more square footage to grow the plant. It would create the Division of Marijuana Control (DMC), a new state agency under the Department of Commerce, to lead the program – transferring current authority from three state agencies, including the State Board of Pharmacy.
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