New medical marijuana fees in Ohio may exceed program costs

New medical marijuana fees in Ohio may exceed program costs

By JULIE CARR SMYTH
AP Statehouse Correspondent

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - State regulators in Ohio are acknowledging that proposed licensing fees for medical marijuana businesses could initially exceed the state's costs of operating the program.

Missy Craddock, of the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, told an advisory panel Friday that some guess work is involved. She said it's far easier to reduce fees in the future than to raise them.

The program has borrowed $1.8 million to start. It's requesting roughly $2.5 million a year for operations in the upcoming two-year state budget. Craddock said that doesn't include a number of unknown costs, including setting up the program's licensing, product tracking and payment systems and establishing a required toll-free hotline.

If the state issues all its available licenses to cultivators, processors and dispensaries, proposed fees would generate $10.8 million.

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