(ONN) – A report says fewer than one in every three medical marijuana dispensaries in Ohio that received a provisional license have also been granted an operating license.

State officials say the dispensaries receive extra scrutiny because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.

Ali Simon, a spokeswoman for the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy, says safeguards must be in place because of the importance of patient safety.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that 17 of the 56 dispensaries granted provisional licenses have been given operating licenses.

Tim Johnson is co-founder of the Ohio Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, which promotes the medical cannabis industry.

He says the state is over-regulating the industry and should let the free market prevail.