Medical marijuana insiders oppose Ohio SB9, stating new licenses will hurt stagnant sales
Ohio's Medical Cannabis Industry Association (OMCIA) held a virtual press conference Monday on the cannabis industry's strong opposition to Senate Bill 9, Ohio's pending legislation looking at making changes to the medical marijuana control program.
OMCIA Executive Director Matt Close said his organization strongly opposes SB9, stating the the bill is a massive expansion of growth space and medical marijuana licensing, saying that Ohio has 160,000 people licensed to purchase, and that has slowed in expansion since last summer.
Close said expanding a slowing growth potential industry in Ohio would impact the 6,000 employees currently working in the medical marijuana industry and the other businesses that also benefit from its services.
Close said that the industry because of stagnant growth has led to reduced pricing, stating that medical marijuana is half the price in Ohio in comparison to Pennsylvania.
Close said his industry would like the inclusion of anxiety, insomnia, and depression added to the conditions eligible for medical marijuana.
Close said while there are some aspects of the bill his industry is in favor of, but the legislation in its current form that issuing licenses are of concern for businesses that spent millions to open businesses.
Daniel Kessler, co-owner & CEO of Riviera Creek, a level-1 cultivator and processor of medical cannabis in Youngstown said he currently employs 100 people, and said SB9 would punish his company which has invested millions into his business in Ohio.
Kessler echoed Close's concerns, stating that new licensees would be forced to sell additional surplus supply to what Kessler called "black or gray markets."
Kessler said that the medical cannabis market, if expanded, would likely cause the collapse of the industry in Ohio.
Kessler also said that creating a lifetime commission of political appointments would create an additional level of unneeded oversight, and risking the jobs of 6,000 employed in the medical cannabis products.
Bryan Murray, Executive Vice President of Government Relations, Acreage Holdings said with the number of patients, the state does not need any additional cultivators in the state with 19 level-1 cultivators, 12 level-2 cultivators, 44 processors and 66 dispensaries.
Murray said that when New York expand doctors to prescribe cannabis for additional conditions, it report a modest gain of thousands, not hundreds of thousands as thought, in new patient sales.
There will be a hearing on Senate Bill 9 in the Ohio Senate General Government Committee on Tuesday, when opponent testimony will be heard.