During the Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee’s meeting last week, the Board of Pharmacy signified that it will reopen a second dispensary application process in the near future. The new application process, titled “Request for Applications for New Dispensaries (RFA II),” seeks to add to the current list of 52 dispensaries with certificates of operation. The Board’s move coincides with its biennial survey of whether the current number of dispensaries is sufficient in servicing the patient population in Ohio.
Details of the future application process remain uncertain at this time. Pending the Board’s adoption of proposed rule changes, the process is likely to be merit-based, somewhat resembling the initial dispensary application process. Additionally, the process may contain a lottery component in an effort to avoid the numerous claims of impropriety experienced in the first application process.
Competition for the undetermined number of future dispensary licenses is expected to be fierce. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program experienced a slow start in 2019 after sales developed slower than expected. However, just a little more than 18 months since dispensary doors opened, the program is now expected to reach $400 million in sales by the end of the year.