The Latest: Lawmaker wants info on medical marijuana process

Markets Associated Press

The Latest on the announcement by a spurned applicant for a medical marijuana grower's license of a new pot legalization issue (all times local):

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5 p.m.

The lawmaker who helped craft Ohio's medical marijuana law is expressing concerns about the application process.

State Rep. Kirk Schuring is a Canton Republican. He says he wants to look at the issue in more depth and develop ways to address concerns swirling around the process.

Schuring said he's meeting with Department of Commerce Director Jacqueline Williams on Thursday.

A rejected applicant complained last week that a consultant used to score applicants has a record for drug dealing.

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Schuring said he's concerned that nearly seven in 10 of all cultivator applications were ruled out of consideration.

Schuring said he wants to move quickly because the system must be up and running by September.

The Commerce Department has defended the application process.

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4 p.m.

The state is defending its process for selecting growers for Ohio's medical marijuana program.

Kerry Francis is a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Commerce. She says the agency is confident the review process was blind and impartial.

Francis said Monday that consultants hired by the state to help score growers' applications had limited influence on overall selections. She also said they weren't aware of the identity of applicants they reviewed.

A spurned applicant for a grower's license on Monday announced plans for a 2018 Ohio ballot issue to legalize the sale and possession of marijuana.

The proposal by Jimmy Gould, CEO of CannAscend, would make growing, processing, possessing, selling and using marijuana legal.

Francis said rejected applicants will have an appeal

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1 p.m.

A spurned applicant for a medical marijuana grower's license has announced plans for a 2018 Ohio ballot issue to legalize the sale and possession of marijuana.

The proposal by Jimmy Gould, CEO of CannAscend, would make growing, processing, possessing, selling and using marijuana legal.

Gould says the "Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol" amendment will be on the ballot next fall. He says it would keep the existing medical marijuana program in place.

Gould has criticized the state Department of Commerce for hiring a consultant with a drug conviction to help select Ohio's medical marijuana growers.

Gould said at a Monday news conference the selection system was flawed by incompetence and favoritism.

A message was left with the Commerce Department, which has rejected Gould's claims.