Ohio medical marijuana program moves forward despite calls to freeze awarding growing licenses

The Plain Dealer | Jackie Borchardt

The Ohio Department of Commerce didn’t know it hired a consultant with a felony marijuana conviction to help score medical marijuana grow license applications but says the past offense didn’t undermine the agency’s process for awarding the highly sought-after licenses.

The department plans to go ahead and award 24 cultivator licenses despite calls from state officials to freeze the program until the scoring process can be examined after it was revealed a scoring consultant had a felony drug conviction on his record.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the department should hire a third party, independent person or firm to investigate allegations of errors or wrongdoing with the program. But some involved in the program worry a freeze or lengthy investigation would delay the program for ill Ohioans who could benefit from the drug.

Felony didn’t taint process, department says

The department barred anyone with a felony drug conviction from applying for a medical marijuana cultivator license and required background checks of everyone with at least 1 percent interest in a cultivation company.

Trevor Bozeman, owner of iCann Consulting, pleaded guilty in 2005 in Pennsylvania to felony charges of possessing or manufacturing marijuana with intent to sell, court records show. Bozeman paid all fines and court costs and satisfied the requirements of his three-year probation sentence.

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