Ohio approves funds for medical marijuana tracking system

Markets Associated Press

Regulators of the state's budding medical marijuana industry have received approval to spend an additional $6 million over the next two years on projects including a seed-to-sale tracking system.

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The funds for the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program were approved Monday, adding to the previously approved $5 million. Officials say the program will repay the state using revenue from licensing fees.

"None of it is going to be taxpayer shouldered," program official Justin Hunt told the Dayton Daily News.

The largest part of the money will go to set up a system to track plants from cultivation through sale. A vendor for the technology has not been selected.

Hunt said the program may later ask for funds to set up a system that would allow noncash payments among marijuana businesses, patients and state vendors. Sales of marijuana can be complicated by the unwillingness of banks to participate in transactions that are still illegal under federal law.

The state aims to open dispensaries by September 2018.

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The law allows people with any of 21 qualifying medical conditions to buy medical marijuana on the recommendation of a doctor. It allows for 12 large-scale cultivators and 12 smaller-scale cultivators. The state has received 185 applications for licenses.