Marijuana plant
Ohio’s stringent cannabis application program is slowing down its medical cannabis program launch. What should the state do? Creative Commons

The US state of Ohio is feeling another drought. But this time, it’s for good suppliers of high-quality cannabis products to be part of their medical marijuana program.

According to Forbes, the Ohio Department of Commerce has recently given out the first batch of its processor licences but only seven from the 104 who applied actually passed their stringent requirements. Citing sub-standard quality when it comes to infused oil and cannabis treats, the department said that most of those who sent in proposals did not reach the minimum requirements the state set. So now, they are basically starting once more from scratch.

The search is on

Ohio is not stopping, however, and the search is still ongoing. The state is once more calling for cannabis brands and offering opportunities for these companies to present.

For the first part of the processor licences, Ohio is allowed to grant at least 40 certificates for approved brands. The processors will then be in charge of the manufacturing and distributing of products under the program like creams, pot brownies and non-smokable products, among others, in Ohio’s local dispensaries.

Aside from the quality of products, the state also does background checks on companies, making sure that their tax history is on point. Some of the companies who failed in the initial application are once more applying.

Ohio medical cannabis program

Although it is legal to sell cannabis products in Ohio, companies are having a hard time getting processor licences that would allow them to operate and work alongside local dispensaries. The problem has been prevalent since 2016 when lawmakers gave its seal of approval.

The State of Ohio is currently on the lookout for quality cannabis products. Creative Commons

Because of this, the state’s medical cannabis program has failed to fly. It has been so difficult that an entrepreneur almost took legal action against the state for not making it easy to secure a processor licence.

The situation hasn’t improved since, and local officials are now admitting that because of this, they won’t be able to launch the proposed medical cannabis program for their September target, the same month mandated by law when the program should be up and running.

Local officials are now blaming cannabis cultivators as the cause of the delay, saying that since June this year, only one of the approved operators was prepared for inspection.

The seven approved cannabis processors now have six months to set up their operations in the state and should be able to pass health and safety standards before they can be granted an operating license. Currently, the seven companies who passed are operating under provisional licences.

Because of this, it is very possible that medical marijuana patients will only get cannabis for vaping purposes come fall 2018, while edibles and topicals might be available earliest next year.

Alternative options

Perhaps one of the most viable options would be for the state of Ohio to tap cannabis processors outside of the state. Companies like PotNetwork Holdings, Inc. (OTCMKTS:POTN), for example, could assure to offer only the best cannabis products from vapes, oils, creams, drinks and edibles via its subsidiary, Diamond CBD, Inc.

POTN’s strength lies in products derived from cannabidiol (CBD) from hemp, also part of the cannabis family. Hemp CBD is considered to be safer when it comes to oral applications because this means that products contain only small amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the 113 compounds found in cannabis that’s usually associated with the feeling of getting high.

POTN has been successfully producing the best products derived from hemp, known to have no psychoactive effects but has all the medical benefits it could bring. Through Diamond CBD, the company continues to strengthen its position in the hemp-derived CBD market with quality products made of hemp from organic, non-GMO farms. The products were also produced by POTN’s strong team of medical personnel and scientists to give customers the safest and most potent products that are available in 10,000 retail partners all over the country.

POTN’s edibles and topical creams are considered to be its best-sellers, many of which get sold out most of the time. These include Chill Plus Gummies, CBD Honey, Meds Biotech, Relax CBD Gummies and Yum Yum gummies for edibles. As for topical application, the Biotech CBD Cream and Lawrence Taylor Pain Master CBD Cream are the most popular choices. Oils like Relax Extreme CBD Oil and CBD Full Spectrum can be used topically or as oral drops.

POTN is one of the fastest growing CBD companies in the market today, posing an impressive US$10 million (AU$13.84 million) revenue for the first half of the year. This is a testament to the company’s success and reputation as it has already more than doubled its 2017 revenue thanks to the efficacy and quality of its products.

Another company to consider is Canada’s Aurora Cannabis. Although the source is a few kilometres away from the state centre, betting on products from the Canadian nation might be a risk worth taking.

For one, Canadian companies like Aurora Cannabis assure the quality of their products thanks in part to the country’s recent legalisation of recreational cannabis products. This meant that companies have exerted considerable effort to be competitive in what’s to become one of the most robust industries in the coming years.

Tapping on the reputation of companies like POTN, the state of Ohio can successfully launch its medical cannabis program with ease and start helping people who need these medicines.

Article derived from press releases sent for consideration.