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Why haven't Ohio's new medical cannabis dispensaries opened?

Ohio was set to expand its medical cannabis dispensaries after more than 70 licenses went to companies looking to set up shop. But nearly one year after the state awarded those licenses, only 14 dispensaries have opened their doors.

The rest say they've been mired by problems with construction and permitting. Some got more time. But nearly two dozen other dispensaries − including five out of eight licensees in Cincinnati − spent weeks fighting citations and negotiating settlements with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy that could cost them thousands of dollars if they don't meet their new deadlines.

The USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau obtained dozens of documents through the state's public records law that detail how the process has unfolded.

Patients, meanwhile, are left wondering when they'll get the increased access to cannabis they were promised. "Patients need access, and it's not happening quick enough," said Matt Close, executive director of the Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association.

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