This state could be the next big weed market

Eyes have been on the Buckeye State in anticipation of the first adult-use cannabis sale, and this week, things are inching forward. According to the state business license database, around 60 medical cannabis licenses have been shifted to provisionally cover adult-use sales. This is from almost 250 applicants hoping to get in on the first wave of recreational weed. However, there’s still some red tape to cross before dispensaries open to everyone over 21.

Seattle cannabis brand Heylo was granted a provisional license under the business name Cielo Jardin in the first wave. Ohio-grown CEO Laurel Friesen is excited to bring the operation home.

“Growing up in the Cleveland Metro, it has been a goal to return to the area to expand Heylo since we first launched in 2017,” Friesen shared with GreenState, “I’m proud that the business expansion involves my entire family in Northeast Ohio. Cielo Jarind’s cultivation and processing facility was built by my brother-in-law, father, brother, and their small team.”

Though there is time to celebrate, provisional licenses aren’t a turnkey move to recreational sales. The next step for newly provisionally licensed Ohio cannabis cultivators, processors, and testing labs is to meet the standards for a Certificate of Operation from the state.

Division of Cannabis Control spokesperson Jamie Crawford said this and stocking protocols will dictate when stores open. There won’t be one date that adult use sales start for all; store openings will be staggered.

Meanwhile, edibles giant Grön entered the market in a partnership with vertically integrated medical dispensary Standard Wellness. Medical patients can enjoy Grön products now as others await the turnover from medical-only to adult-use sales.

“We’re looking forward to getting to know the cannabis community in Ohio and are confident that this launch will be the beginning of a beautiful chapter for our brand,” Grön founder and CEO Christine Apple said in a press release.

Grön debuted in Ohio with its signature 10 mg Sugar Coated Pearls in Blueberry Lemonade, Tangelo, Pomegranate, Tart Cherry, and Blackberry Lemonade. Each flavor coordinates to a specific lineage (indica, sativa, hybrid) or cannabinoid ratio. The company plans to release a second product, 100 mg sugar-coated MEGAs, by the end of summer.

Cielo Jardin is more flower-focused–but in vape form. Like Heylo, Cielo Jardin will hone in on crafting full-spectrum vape pods and products that replicate the starting plant matter as closely as possible. This brand takes inspiration directly from its sister brand in the Pacific Northwest, expanding its offerings over time.

“In Ohio, we’ll provide an even wider range of products, including cultivating our own flower, all focused on creating the best possible user experience,” Friesen said. “Our family is proud to serve Ohio’s cannabis consumers.”

While the business side eeks along, production companies and networking groups are launching experiences to solidify the state’s cannabis culture. The Stargazer Festival promises live music, community bonfires, and open ganja consumption at a multi-day campout. This festival is joined by a more business-focused function to connect the expanding licensees and hopefuls.

The Ohio Classic & Expo is a business-to-business golf tournament at Sugar Valley Golf Club in Bellbrook. Local and national cannabis thought leaders will speak amid networking opportunities like terpene mocktail happy hour. Booths showcasing products, giveaways, and extensive media coverage will also be featured. It is a ripe opportunity for Ohio operators to navigate the new regulatory landscape of weed.

Rec consumers can join in on Grön Pearls and Cielo Jardin once businesses get through the certification process. However, once a certificate is acquired, license holders on both sides of the plant must wait for the rest of the ecosystem to come online before stocking shelves and trimming buds is a seamless process.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.