In order to legally sell, dispense, recommend or grow medical marijuana in Ohio you need approval from the Marijuana Control Program.
On Monday, the Ohio Department of Commerce held two public hearings for those who want to process medical marijuana and for medical professionals who can legally recommend pot as an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.
Right now, 185 companies have applied to the state for approval to grow medical marijuana. That number will eventually be cut to 12 large growers and 12 small growers.
Large growers, called Level 1 cultivators are allowed to grow in an area up to 25,000 square feet. Smaller growers, called Level 2 cultivators can grow in an area of 3,000 square feet.
The state is requiring large growers to pay a fee of $200,000 per year and smaller growers will pay a fee of $20,000 per year.
The money from the fees will pay for administering the medical marijuana program.
On Tuesday, those looking to dispense and caregivers are encouraged to attend a public meeting regarding medical marijuana.
The meeting begins at 10 a.m. It will be held at the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 8895 East Main Street in Reynoldsburg.