Growers say Ohio’s tight timeline could delay first pot crop

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

COLUMBUS (AP) — Officials in Ohio say they don’t expect to issue the state’s first medical marijuana cultivator licenses until around November, at least a month later than growers expected.

The Ohio Department of Commerce announced the timetable Thursday.

It drew immediate concern from the National Cannabis Industry Association of Ohio. The association had anticipated growers having about a year before the September 2018 deadline to ramp up their operations and produce their first crop.

Association President Thomas Rosenberger said it will be difficult for growers to get the necessary local zoning approvals on such a tight time frame.

The state received 185 applications in June for 24 cultivator licenses. Ohio Medical Marijuana Control officials say they never estimated a date for scoring submissions and awarding licenses, and winners may know sooner.

READ MORE: Ohio’s aspiring marijuana growers: A closer look

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