Judge: Ohio regulators must allow medical marijuana dispensary to open despite ownership probe – Cincinnati.com


Ohio’s seed to sale process for producing medical marijuana. Michael Nyerges, Cincinnati Enquirer

State regulators must award an operating license to a medical marijuana dispensary whose ownership is being challenged, a Northeast Ohio court ruled late Friday.

The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy notified Greenleaf Apothecaries LLC in June it could not open three dispensaries because it had prematurely changed ownership in violation of state rules. The details of the agency’s claims against the company have not been made public because Greenleaf filed a lawsuit to block release of the record.

Greenleaf Apothecaries, which does business as The Botanist, has a management agreement with multi-state operator Acreage Holdings for its dispensaries in Wickliffe and Canton, as well as yet-to-open sites in Akron, Cleveland and Columbus.

The pharmacy board issued certificates of operation to two Botanist dispensaries in January. The Cleveland dispensary passed a formal inspection March 6, according to a Friday ruling in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

Judge Nancy Fuerst said the dispensary met the board’s requirements for obtaining a certificate of operation outlined in the agency’s rules and regulations and the ownership dispute is a separate issue.

Fuerst also noted that the pharmacy board did not close the two Botanist locations already in operation when taking action against the company in June.

Fuerst ordered the board to award a certificate of operation to the Cleveland dispensary. The company has not filed similar lawsuits for its Columbus and Akron dispensaries.

A board spokeswoman declined to say Monday whether the board would grant the operating license or appeal the judge’s decision.

“At this time, we cannot offer any comment on the specifics pertaining to the judge’s order,” board spokeswoman Ali Simon said in an

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