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Ohio: College to Test Medical Marijuana

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It has been a year and counting since Ohio passed its medical marijuana law in June 2016, and nobody has yet received any cannabis under the program. The logjam is due to the failure of the state to issue licenses to any cultivators, processors, dispensaries or testing labs. 

Finally, the first sign of progress is reported as a college has come forward to offer cannabis testing services.”

The problem is that the law stipulates a one-year moratorium on commercial laboratories being licensed—and the clock started ticking last September, when the program was officially launched. That leaves it up to universities. And, as Cincinnati.com puts it, “many university officials are wary of losing money from a federal government that still labels marijuana as among the most dangerous, illegal drugs.”

But on Sept. 5, Hocking College, in the southeastern Ohio town of Nelsonville, stepped up to the plate.

The 3,000-student technical college announced plans to launch a curriculum around cannabis testing and an endowment to pay for laboratory renovation and equipment.

Hocking College is the only known applicant to test medical marijuana in Ohio. Colleges and universities have until Sept. 22 to apply with the Ohio Department of Commerce, at a $2,000 fee. If approved, each college will pay an $18,000 fee to operate the testing facility..

Hocking College president Betty Young was careful not take a stance on medical marijuana in announcing the application.

“The decision to lead this medical cannabis lab effort was not based on the merits or lack of merits regarding cannabis,” Young said in a statement.

Now, perhaps, there can be some progress on the pending cultivation licenses.

Another account on Cincinnati.com informs us that there are over 180 applicants competing for just 24 cultivation licenses. One of the applicants is Blu Script—represented by former Ohio Republican Party chairman Matt Borges. It plans to operate in Cincinnati.

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