Ohio Pharmacy Board Would No Longer Regulate Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Under Gov.’s Proposed Budget

Under an executive budget proposal by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), the Ohio Board of Pharmacy would no longer be responsible for regulating the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries.

Full story after the jump.

Under Gov. Mike DeWine’s executive budget, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy would no longer have responsibilities regulating the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries, Cleveland.com reports. The governor’s plan would transfer some of the pharmacy board’s responsibilities to the Department of Commerce, but the pharmacy board would still be responsible for reviewing and adding qualifying conditions to the medical cannabis program.  

Currently, there are three agencies that regulate the Ohio medical cannabis program: the commerce department, pharmacy board, and State Medical Board. 

Dan Tierney, DeWine’s spokesman, told Cleveland that the “proposal is a consolidation for efficiency, as a significant portion of staff support and expertise in this field is at the Department of Commerce currently.” 

The Board of Pharmacy has been responsible for licensing and regulating dispensaries in the state since lawmakers approved the state’s medical cannabis law in 2016. Under the law, the Department of Commerce is responsible for the licensing and regulation of medical cannabis cultivators, processors, and testing labs.  

Matt Close, executive director of the Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association, told Cleveland.com that the organization “are all for the transfer.”  

“It’s a pretty convoluted scheme that we have to deal with right now. We’re not looking for less regulation. We’re looking for streamlined regulation that makes sense.” — Close to Cleveland.com 

The governor’s budget requires approval by state lawmakers and State Rep. Jay Edwards (R), Ohio House Finance Committee chair, said he expects DeWine’s request to be in the budget that his committee passes. He added that he met with a top official from the Board of Pharmacy, who did not object to the change.  

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