High pot industry standards critical

Ohio’s fledgling medicinal marijuana industry is not yet fully up and running, but already, state officials are raising questions about the honesty of some of those involved.

Two companies in the medicinal marijuana dispensary business are being accused by the state Board of Pharmacy of not being entirely candid in providing ownership information, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Neither of the companies owns the three dispensaries in our area (two in Wintersville and one in East Liverpool).

Pharmacy board officials contend one company, Harvest of Ohio, is not minority-owned as stated on its application for approval as a dispensary. Harvest of Ohio has provisional dispensary licenses for Athens, Beavercreek and Columbus.

Greenleaf Apothecaries is “suspected of surreptitiously selling its dispensaries to Canadian cannabis company Acreage Holdings,” the Dispatch reports. Greenleaf has opened dispensaries in Canton and Wickliffe and has provisional licenses for Akron, Cleveland and Columbus.

Officials of both companies insist they have done nothing wrong. Misunderstandings were cited.

Hopefully, those hearings on the complaints indeed will conclude that neither company attempted to mislead state regulators. But the very fact that questions are being raised indicates state officials are right to watch the medicinal marijuana industry closely. Anyone stepping out of line in any way should be put out of business and, depending on the seriousness of the offense, should be penalized additionally.

Medicinal marijuana was accepted — rightly, in our opinion — by Ohioans only after a period of soul-searching. Maintaining the highest ethical standards in the business is imperative.

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