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104 businesses seek 40 licenses to process medical marijuana in Ohio

Ohio’s new medical marijuana program received 104 applications for up to 40 processor licenses, the state announced Wednesday.

The list of applicants discloses only the company and contact names — not the full application details. But there are familiar players listed, including 19 of 24 companies that were awarded cultivator licenses earlier this year.

Cresco Labs LLC, which landed a Level 1 cultivator license for a growing factory in Yellow Springs, also applied for a processor license. Likewise, Pure Ohio Wellness LLC, which received a Level 1 grower license for a facility near Springfield, is also vying for a processor license.

Jimmy Gould, chief executive of CannAscend, which applied for a processor license, did not win a cultivator license and has threatened to sue the state and place full legalization of marijuana on the November 2018 ballot.

Processors take raw material from cultivators and turn it into oils, edibles and other items to be sold at dispensaries.

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The Ohio Department of Commerce can issue up to 40 processor licenses anytime before Sept. 9, 2018. Each applicant had to pay a $10,000 application fee. If they win a license, they’ll pay a $90,000 certificate of operation fee and then annual renewal fees of $100,000.

Applications will be scored based on plans for operations, quality, security, finances and business.

Ohio voters rejected a marijuana legalization proposal in November 2015. Lawmakers passed a medical marijuana law in 2016 and regulators have worked for the past year and a half to establish rules, review applications, award licenses and more. The program is supposed to be fully operational by September 2018.

Related: Ohio regulators defend medical marijuana program despite controversy

Related: Controversy, legal threats mar Ohio’s medical marijuana launch

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