Photo from outside the Ohio State Capitol Building in Columbus, Ohio.

Enrique Fernández

Ohio Legislative Committee Passes MMJ Rules

The Ohio legislature’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule review has approved the rules for the state’s medical cannabis program one month before the statutory deadline, according to a report. Under the rules, patients will have to pay a $50 registration fee annually and will be able to possess a 90-day supply, defined as up to 8 ounces of flower or products containing a comparable amount of THC.

Ohio is the first state to quantify limits this way, which equates to a patient purchasing 70 days’ worth of flower and 20 days’ worth of vape products or edibles. Patients can designate up to two caregivers to make purchases on their behalf and caregivers, who will pay a $25 fee per application, can serve up to two patients except in some situations set forth by the state Pharmacy Board such as hospice care.

The state Commerce Department will license up to 40 processors who will pay a $10,000 application fee and, if approved for a license, will pay another $90,000 and then $100,000 annually to renew. Sixty dispensaries will be approved, with applicants paying $5,000 and $70,000 bi-annually if approved.

Physicians in the state must take a two-hour continuing education course and register with the state in order to make medical cannabis recommendations to patients. They are also required to explain the benefits and risks associated with use.

Lawmakers passed the medical cannabis bill in May 2016, but it’s still expected to be more than a year before the state’s infrastructure is ready for patients.

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