A Madison County judge has struck down a state law granting minority-owned medical marijuana businesses a leg up during the competitive licensing process (Source: “Ohio medical marijuana: Minority quota for dispensary licenses struck down,” Cincinnati Enquirer, Nov. 7, 2019).
The ruling against Ohio's "racial quota" is the latest blow to state lawmakers' attempt at making the industry more diverse. It could lead to more dispensary licenses being issued beyond the current total of 56 statewide.
Ohio's 2016 medical marijuana law required 15% of all licenses to grow, process and sell marijuana be awarded to companies majority-owned and operated by a racial minority. A Franklin County judge struck down the provision as it applied to cultivators and processors in November 2018.
This week's ruling applies to dispensaries, which are regulated by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. A board spokeswoman said the agency is still reviewing the judge’s ruling and determining next steps.