Ohio officials call for freeze on marijuana growers' licenses after learning convicted drug dealer participated in … – Cincinnati.com

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Marijuana legalization just received a record high in support with 64% of Americans saying they support it NorthJersey.com

No businesses associated with the medical marijuana industry will be allowed in West Chester Township.(Photo: File photo)

A chorus of state and local officials on Wednesday called for a freeze on state-issued medical marijuana growers’  licenses after learning one of the consultants hired to grade license applications is a convicted drug dealer.

“It’s possible that this just looks horrible and there’s not a problem, but I wouldn’t put money on that,” according to State Auditor Dave Yost, who said at the very least the consultant’s criminal background calls into question the integrity of the selection process.

“It seems to me at the very least we could hit the pause button on this and evaluate whether the process is on the up-and-up,” Yost told The Enquirer. “We’re seeking information on exactly what was done and what should have been done.”

The Ohio Department of Commerce last week awarded 12 preliminary “Level 1” licenses for medical marijuana growers with up to 25,000 square feet of growing space.

Cincinnati-based CannAscend Ohio, one of the 97 applicants denied a Level 1 growers’ license, contested the results and discovered that one of the application reviewers pled guilty in 2005 to possession with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance in Pennsylvania and was sentenced to three years of probation.

The Enquirer Independently verified the guilty plea and sentence of the reviewer, 33-year-old  Trevor C. Bozeman of Brunswick, Maine, by reviewing court records from the Snyder County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania.

Bozeman declined to comment when reached by phone Tuesday.

The state commerce department said each of the three consultants – paid up to $150,000

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