Former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges hates marijuana. He said so just last year. But he must love money even more, because his name is on an application for a marijuana grower's license.
"It should not come to Ohio, it won't come to Ohio, it's totally unpopular with all voters. And everything that needs to be done, to prevent legalized marijuana from coming to Ohio, ought to be done," Borges said last March, as reported by the Associated Press.
Borges, a lobbyist for Roetzel & Andress, was listed among the contacts for 185 companies vying for 24 spots to grow medical marijuana in Ohio. Borges said he assisted Blu Script LLC, a would-be Cincinnati-area grower, with its application but has no financial stake in the company.
“It’s no longer an issue of being opposed to or in support of medical marijuana," Borges told The Enquirer. "We have it in Ohio now, so it’s important that we help guide state policy appropriately and bring qualified, responsible applicants to the table.”
The Ohio Department of Commerce received 109 applications for large-scale marijuana grows and 76 applicants for the smaller operations, according to a Wednesday news release.
Twelve growers will be selected for each category.
Little is known about the applicants beyond their names. Many are limited-liability companies created in recent months, and state business records shield their backers.
Ohio Department of Commerce has yet to release where the applicants proposed growing medical marijuana.
Ohio passed its medical pot law last year. Ohio-grown marijuana for eligible medical conditions should be available by September 2018. Until then, patients can seek marijuana from other states where the drug is legal.