Whaley reacts to report of drug dealer hired to grade medical marijuana applications

(File photo: WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Mayor Nan Whaley, who is also running for Ohio governor is reacting to a report that the Ohio Department of Commerce hired a convicted drug dealer to grade applications for medical marijuana cultivators in Ohio.

Whaley, who is a Democrat, called the error a "gross oversight" that undermines Ohioans' confidence in the new industry.

Several Ohio lawmakers, including State Auditor Dave Yost, are calling to freeze the issuance of medical marijuana licenses. Yost called the error an "epic failure." The CEO of a group called Cann-Ascend reported what it called "serious flaws" in the way that state issued the level one licenses. CEO Jimmy Gould said one of the three consultants hired to grade the applications is a convicted drug dealer and was paid $150,000 a year to do the job.

Whaley said the report shows a double standard, "While there are thousands of Ohioans who go to jail for similar offenses and are forced to check a box for the rest of their lives, which often disqualifies them from employment. Ohioans are sick and tired of there being two sets of rules in this state – one for the powerful in Columbus and one for everyone else.”

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