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Dispensary POS Software

When you adopt Green Bits as your dispensary POS in Ohio, you gain a partner who has been leading the industry since 2014, guiding the conversation, and delivering the best technology for point of sale, inventory management, and Metrc compliance.
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Ohio signed legislation legalizing medical marijuana in 2016. The state spent years creating a regulatory environment and overcoming bureaucratic delays. In fact, the first legal cannabis product sale in Ohio only occured on January 16th, 2019. Ohio’s medical cannabis industry includes 14 licensed cultivators, most of whom expect to begin delivering products by the end of spring 2019.

Ohio’s regulatory environment is somewhat unique compared to many other states. For instance, dispensaries can only sell dry cannabis flower in packaged quantities weighing 2.83-grams, which is equal to one-tenth of an ounce. Throughout the Midwest, cannabis users and industry professionals are beginning to call this unusual unit the “Ohio tenth”.

Ohio Regulations

Do I need a dispensary license to operate in Ohio?

Yes. Ohio strictly regulates cannabis sales and requires dispensaries to sell exclusively to patients with qualifying conditions. These conditions include glaucoma, hepatitis C, AIDS, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease, among others.

Who manages cannabis licenses in Ohio?

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program is a distinct entity empowered to manage cannabis licenses for dispensaries, cultivators, physicians, and patients in Ohio. It reports to the State Board of Pharmacy, the State Medical Board, and the Ohio Department of Commerce.

How do I get a cannabis dispensary license in Ohio?

Ohio has not yet fully approved all of the licenses it granted during its first open enrollment period, which was subject to numerous delays. It is unlikely that the state will open a new enrollment period in the near future. Cannabis entrepreneurs interested in doing business in the state may have to acquire a cannabis dispensary that already holds a license in Ohio.

What are the requirements for a cannabis retail license?

Ohio cannabis dispensaries must submit a full business plan that shows they are competent and capable of running a pharmaceutical business in a highly regulated environment. Applicants must also submit to background checks and demonstrate methods for preventing cannabis products from being diverted to the black market.

How much does a cannabis retail license cost?

Dispensary owners must pay an initial application fee of $5,000. Once the state approves an application, the applicant must pay an additional $70,000 for a two-year certificate of operation.

Are there annual licensing fees?

Yes. Ohio charges its cannabis dispensaries $70,000 for a certificate of operation valid for two years.

What license type do I need to service recreational and medical patients?

Ohio distinguishes between four types of medical marijuana licenses. There are two types of cultivator licenses, which serve to distinguish between large-scale cultivators (up to 25,000 square feet) and small-scale cultivators (up to 3,000 square feet). There are also testing laboratory licenses and dispensary licenses. Only dispensary license holders can sell cannabis products to patients.

When will cannabis retail licenses be issued?

Ohio isn’t issuing any new licenses at the time, but the state governor ran on a recreational legalization platform and has instructed lawmakers to look at recreational markets for 2019. It is possible that a new retail licensing application period will open in the near future.

Will I be able to get a retail license if I already have a dispensary?

Out-of-state dispensary owners who wish to expand to Ohio will face difficulties from the state’s oversight system. The only plausible way to expand an existing dispensary chain into Ohio is by acquiring one of the state’s current license holders. Acquisitions of this nature are subject to state regulation, and may be denied.

What local (county-level) permissions will I need to operate?

Ohio requires dispensaries be located more than 500 feet away from schools, churches, libraries, public playgrounds, parks, and community addiction services providers. Municipal governments may adopt regulations that prohibit cannabis dispensaries from opening in their jurisdiction.

Cannabis Event Licensing

Do I need a license to host a cannabis event in Ohio?

Ohio state law does not specifically mention cannabis events. There is no legal basis for preventing Ohio citizens from hosting, organizing, or attending cannabis-related events.

Do I need a separate premises license for cannabis events?

No. Cannabis event organizers and exhibitors do not need to apply for special licensing to hold cannabis events.

Can I obtain a cannabis event license if I hold a retailer license?

Ohio state law does not provide for cannabis event licensing. Cannabis dispensary owners should be within their full rights to organize and host events aimed at cannabis awareness and education.

Managing Your Business in Ohio

How can I ensure that I remain compliant?

Ohio requires dispensaries report all of their sales to state authorities. Regulators require dispensaries to use the Board of Pharmacy’s Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) according to the same rules that apply to medical clinics and pharmacies throughout the state. Most Ohio dispensaries appoint a compliance officer who is experienced with Ohio’s pharmaceutical regulatory environment.

What security measures am I required to take?

Ohio cannabis dispensaries must implement 24-hour live-streamed surveillance solutions with motion-activated sensors and less than six seconds of delay. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy inspects and approves every dispensary’s security system according to strict rules.

Can I package and label cannabis in my retail store?

Yes. Ohio state law requires dispensaries to establish standard operating procedures for packaging and labeling cannabis products. Although the state distinguishes between cultivators and dispensaries, it assumes that both types of organization may package and label cannabis on-site.

Can I sell alcohol or tobacco at my cannabis retail store?

No. Ohio dispensaries may not sell tobacco, beverages, food, or any products whatsoever other than cannabis products and devices designed for cannabis consumption.

Can I vertically integrate my cannabis businesses?

Yes. A single organization can apply for both a dispensary license and a cultivator license. Several of Ohio’s large-scale medical marijuana organizations have taken this route. It requires a great deal of up-front investment, but it can be done.

Can I sample or give products away in-store?

Ohio state law forbids dispensary employees from providing free cannabis product samples to patients or caregivers. Dispensaries may provide sample tins to patients solely for the purpose of smelling – not consuming – the products in question.

What are the operating hours for a retail shop?

Ohio does not allow dispensaries to operate between the hours of 9:00 PM and 7:00 AM. It also requires dispensaries to be open at least 35 hours per week and to have at least two employees on-premises whenever the dispensary is open.

Can I have public-facing displays on my storefront?

Yes, but Ohio Board of Commerce authorities must review and approve all public-facing displays on a case-by-case basis. Ohio prohibits the use of illuminated signs, images of patients using marijuana, and portable signs such as hand-signs and bumper stickers.

How old does someone need to be to buy cannabis?

Patients over the age of 18 can purchase their own medical marijuana products legally. Minors with qualifying conditions must appoint a certified caretaker who is empowered to purchase cannabis products on their behalf.

What is seed-to-sale reporting and what is required of retailers?

Every cannabis product sale that takes place in Ohio must be reported to the Board of Pharmacy through its OARRS web portal application. The Board Of Pharmacy requires seed-to-sale reporting through batch numbers that identify individual cannabis plants and the products they are eventually sold as.

Sources:

https://www.medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov
https://www.medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov/dispensaries
http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/3796%3A6
http://www.cleveland19.com/2018/10/01/medical-marijuana-ohio-what-law-allows-prohibits/
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/medical-marijuana-goes-sale-ohio-some-hope-it-may-ease-n959551
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/medical-marijuana-goes-sale-ohio-some-hope-it-may-ease-n959551
https://www.10tv.com/article/first-medical-marijuana-sold-ohio-dispensaries-open

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