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Central State University wants marijuana lab license

“We support the need for testing and believe that Central State can be an innovator as the state implements its medical marijuana law,” Central State president Cynthia Jackson-Hammond said in a prepared statement. “The university is working with Buckeye Agriculture, LLC. Central State stands ready to support this needed service to the citizens of Ohio because the University views the testing as a mechanism to ensure product safety.”

Central State and Hocking College were the only two public institutions to apply for medical marijuana testing labs licenses by the Sept. 22 deadline.

Labs, which must be independent of growers or other industry players, will be responsible for testing medical marijuana for safety and quality assurance before it is sent to dispensaries.

Public higher education institutions were given the first opportunity for becoming licensed labs but the state anticipates it’ll need more testing capacity. Private entities can submit applications between Nov. 27 and Dec. 8 and those licenses will be awarded on June 5.

No specific timetable was given for when public entities may be issued lab licenses, other than it’ll be before the medical marijuana program is slated to be operational on Sept. 8, 2018.

Labs must pay an operational fee of $18,000 and an annual license renewal fee of $20,000.

Ohio legalized medical marijuana last year when Gov. John Kasich signed a bill into law that authorizes use by patients with 21 conditions, including cancer or chronic pain, in the form of edibles, oils, patches and vaporizing. Patients and their caregivers will be allowed to possess up to a 90 day supply.

The Medical Marijuana Control Program is jointly managed by the commerce department, pharmacy board and state medical board. Marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law.

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