More than 60 Ohio medical marijuana companies file appeals over cultivator licenses

January 19, 2018 GMT

More than 60 Ohio medical marijuana companies file appeals over cultivator licenses

COLUMBUS, Ohio – At least 63 of the 146 companies that didn’t win medical marijuana cultivator licenses plan to appeal the state’s decision through an administrative hearing process.

The list of businesses seeking a hearing includes 47 companies that applied for a large-scale grow license and 16 companies that applied for a small-scale grow license.

The number could grow because the Ohio Department of Commerce staggered mailing notices to rejected applicants, and applicants have 30 days to respond.

The department then has 15 days to set a hearing date but can delay the hearing for weeks or months. There’s no timeline for when cases must be resolved.

Two hearings have already been held, a department spokeswoman said. The hearing officer has not yet given a recommendation in both cases.

The Department of Commerce issued 24 provisional cultivator licenses in November 2017 -- 12 for up to 25,000 square feet of growing space and 12 for up to 3,000 square feet. Provisional licensees have nine months to meet all operating requirements set by the state.

Of the 185 applications submitted, 71 percent were disqualified. Reasons for disqualification included failing to pass a background check, not meeting minimum scores on certain sections or for failing to redact identifiable information.

Of the 68 appeals filed thus far, 54 were for disqualified applications. Five companies filed two appeals each, one per proposed cultivation site.

One losing company has filed suit against the state for awarding two grow licenses to lower-scoring companies that were majority owned or operated by a minority. PharmaCann Ohio LLC, which also filed an administrative appeal, argues Ohio’s law requiring 15 percent of marijuana business licensees be issued to minority applicants is unconstitutional.

Attorneys for the department argued in a court briefing that PharmaCann can’t bring the lawsuit until it has finished its administrative appeal.

A second company, CannAscend Ohio LLC, plans to file suit later this month with other losing applicants over what they say were fatal flaws to the department’s scoring process, such as employing at least two scorers with close ties to a winning applicant.

The department has defended its process, saying it took several steps to ensure scorers did not know whose applications they were grading.

Ohio’s medical marijuana program is supposed to be fully operational by Sept. 8.

List of cultivator applicants that have filed appeals:

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ApplicantScoreFinal ScoreLicense level7 Points Group LLC128.36DisqualifiedIAgri-Med Enterprise, Inc.112.9DisqualifiedIAltaLuna L.P.92.56DisqualifiedIAmerican Cannabis Enterprises70.32DisqualifiedIIAppalachian Pharm Products, LLC128.72DisqualifiedIBlack Elk Farms LLC118.76DisqualifiedIBlu Script LLC123.48DisqualifiedIBluSky Wellness-13.44DisqualifiedIIBuckeye Pharms143.28DisqualifiedIIBZGIST LLC136.92DisqualifiedICannaMed Therapeutics141.68141.68ICannAscend Ohio, LLC132.72DisqualifiedICansortium Ohio129.48DisqualifiedICertified Cultivators148148ICielo Jardin167.28DisqualifiedIICrataegus, LLC74.7DisqualifiedIIDRD Medical LLC6.2DisqualifiedIIFARMACEUTICALRX, LLC154.58DisqualifiedIFarms of Riverside100.94DisqualifiedIFW Green Investments, LLC123.48DisqualifiedIFW Green Investments, LLC131.68DisqualifiedIGreen Camp Provisions105.84DisqualifiedIGreen Investment Partners147.08147.08IGreen Leaf Medical of Ohio119.12DisqualifiedIGreen Mile Wellness125.28DisqualifiedIGreen Peak Industries150.58DisqualifiedIGreenleaf Gardens159.64159.64IGrowthOrchard Partners158.76DisqualifiedIGTI Ohio148.16DisqualifiedIGTI Ohio148.16DisqualifiedIHanging Gardens OH, LLC140.72140.72IHarvest and Bloom142.92DisqualifiedIHVV Mission Ohio (Columbus)145.82DisqualifiedIHVV Mission Ohio (Coshocton)150.2150.2IJustice Grown Ohio LLC135.28DisqualifiedIMahoning Valley Agriculture, LLC129.64DisqualifiedIMed-Treez41.46DisqualifiedIINature House, LLC83.98DisqualifiedIINEO Farmaceuticals134.2DisqualifiedINMG Ohio112DisqualifiedIOfficial Organics LLC81.62DisqualifiedIIOH-GRO119.86DisqualifiedIOHCanna Wellness LLC42.16DisqualifiedIIOhio Green Grow141.48141.48IOhio Grown Therapies155.44155.44IOhio Leaf Relief141.48141.48IOhio Medical Holdings, LLC147.64147.64IOhio Medical Solutions, Inc.128.04DisqualifiedIOhio Releaf109.26DisqualifiedIOhio Therapeutics, LLC147.64147.64IOhio Wellness Cultivators94DisqualifiedIIPalliaTech Ohio, LLC136.56136.56IPatient Relief of Ohio127.28DisqualifiedIPharmaCann Ohio158.56158.56IPure Leaf128DisqualifiedIIPure Medicinal Company45.42DisqualifiedIIPure OH LLC157.28DisqualifiedIIQualitative Health Solutions129.68DisqualifiedIQuest Wellness Ohio (Columbus)133.66DisqualifiedIQuest Wellness Ohio (Youngstown)138.04DisqualifiedIRiteGene Technologies137.84DisqualifiedISilver Rapids, Inc.131.64DisqualifiedIISKEE Ohio, LLC111.28DisqualifiedISolomon Cultivation Corporation85.68DisqualifiedITKO OC LLC (Canton)110.92DisqualifiedITKO OC LLC (Cleveland)106.92DisqualifiedITrillium Holdings, Inc.147.84147.84IWarchag, Inc.41.96DisqualifiedII