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Rejected Pot Entrepreneur Weighs Legal Action Against Ohio

Legal Marijuana Oregon
Gosia Wozniacka
Associated Press

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 claim 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.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.