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Cleveland catch-up

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Ohio Department of Commerce to award 24 medical marijuana cultivation licenses

When it was discovered that the Ohio Department of Commerce had hired someone with a felony drug conviction on their record to help score applications for medical marijuana growing licenses, those in opposition of the medical marijuana program used the information in their fight.

According to Cleveland.com, the department said that the felony did not taint the process of application scoring. However, it prevented anyone with a felony drug conviction from applying for a cultivation license, as well as required background checks, for those who held at least a 1 percent interest in a cultivation company.

A department spokesperson said that they had not been made aware of the felony conviction previously. A total of 20 reviewers took part in the application scoring process and were not required to undergo background checks or to disclose criminal history.

The same 20 reviewers will be used to score applications for marijuana testing labs and products to maintain the integrity of the program.

CannAscend, a company that applied but did not receive a license, said that it plans to sue the state over the alleged irregularities in the application process.

Ohio’s medical marijuana law allows patients with any one of 21 approved medical conditions to receive treatment. The law was passed in 2016 and is required to be fully operational by September of next year.

University of Akron and Cleveland State University to increase in-state tuition fees

For first-year students who claim Ohio residency in 2018, the University of Akron just got a little more expensive.

On Wednesday, Cleveland.com reported that the University of Akron will increase in-state tuition by 6 percent next fall to $11,857, pending approval by the Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey.

The tuition increase is part of the university’s proposed Tuition Guarantee Program, which will freeze tuition for four years and allow first-year students to pay the same amount throughout their undergraduate years, provided that they graduate on time.

Cleveland State University announced a similar plan to freeze tuition last week, with a 6 percent tuition increase to $10,392. The program, referred to as the CSU Guarantee, would raise yearly revenue at the university by $1.6 million.

The decisions follow a 2013 law that allows public Ohio universities to raise tuition as long as they guarantee the amount for four years, and is part of a push to encourage students to graduate on time.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration releases Lake Erie freeze forecast

Taking into account last month’s warmer temperature patterns, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an updated freeze forecast for Lake Erie, according to Cleveland.com.

The forecast said that climatologists estimate ice coverage on all Great Lakes to average only 26 percent this year, with Lake Erie expected to freeze the most at 48 percent. The historic yearly average stands at 55 percent for all the lakes.

While ice on the lake may not seem to cause an impact to the daily lives of Cleveland’s residents, a decrease in ice on the lake means an increase in lake-effect snow.

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Cleveland catch-up