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Government & Politics

A Force for Marijuana Legalization in Ohio May Sue Over Being Passed Over for a License

jimmy_gould__credit_jo_ingles_.jpg
JO INGLES
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

One of the principal backers of the failed 2015 ballot issue to legalize marijuana is threatening legal action against the state's medical pot program. 

ResponsibleOhio backer Jimmy Gould applied for at least one of the 12 large-scale cultivators' licenses for the medical marijuana program set up by lawmakers last year. He didn’t get one.

He is calling the process “a travesty” and claims the licenses were given to political insiders instead of the companies that best met the criteria outlined by state regulators. Gould says he plans to challenge the process in court and hints he might even try put a marijuana issue on the ballot again next year.

One of the companies awarded a contract has ties to former Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder and former Republican Party operative Chris Schrimpf. But the business’s spokesman says the quality of its proposal, not favoritism, is the reason it was chosen.