More obstacles get in way of starting date for Ohio’s medical marijuana program

Auditors with the state have found a number of problems with how the medical marijuana program has been run so far

In this Friday, June 26, 2015 photo, different varieties of marijuana flowers are displayed at medical marijuana dispensary Kaya Shack in Portland, Ore. On July 1, recreational marijuana in Oregon is legal, but it's likely customers won't be able to buy the pot at medical dispensaries until October 1. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka)
(AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of an herbal products company and six other plaintiffs that were denied a cultivator’s license by the state.

CannAscend and the plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction on the medical marijuana program so that every application can be rescored. They say five license winners should not have gotten them and cited the auditor’s findings that the program is flawed as a reason to start over.

“It’s been two months that I have been in front of you and we’ve allowed the system to take its course and it hasn’t gotten any better,” said CannAscend CEO Jimmy Gould.

After an accident damaged some of her nerves, Mindy Hedges has lived in excruciating pain. She is eagerly awaiting access to medical marijuana to ease that pain.

“I’m looking forward to relief,” she said.

But, that relief may not be here as soon as she hopes because of the lawsuit, which could delay things.

CannAscend and 60 others are also appealing the scoring at the administrative level, which could also delay the start of the program. Hedges doesn’t blame them.

“It’s really sad that the state of Ohio couldn’t get this right. I don’t understand how they could have messed this up so badly,” she said.

Auditors with the state have found a number of problems with how the program has been run so far, and they aren’t even finished.

“The state of Ohio had an obligation to their citizens to make this right,” she added, saying they have failed.

Hedges says she is willing to live in pain a little while longer, but only if it means the program will be fixed.


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