Jeff Kubina

Ohio Proposal Would Ban MMJ Reciprocity With Out-of-State Cannabis Programs

A bill proposed in Ohio would prohibit reciprocity between the state’s medical marijuana and that of its northern neighbor Michigan, according to a report by the Toledo Blade. HB597, introduced by Rep. Kyle Koehler, would bar the state Pharmacy Board from negotiating such agreements, which would permit out-of-state patients who hold medical cannabis cards in states with similar medical marijuana programs to access the drug in Ohio.

“It’s a small change,” Koehler, who voted for the medical marijuana law which took effect on Sept. 8, said in the report. “I’m just clarifying that if you buy whatever in a baggy in another state, you can’t smoke it here. … We don’t want people sitting on a bench in downtown Springfield smoking pot and saying they have permission to do that.”

As passed, the state law requires that the Pharmacy Board try to negotiate such agreements; however, the measure would only allow them to do so if the other state’s program is “substantially comparable” — i.e. prohibiting smoking and home grows.

According to Aaron Marshall, spokesman for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, the law would only allow reciprocity agreements with Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and New York. He said that the proposal “does nothing but punish patients and chip away at a program that hasn’t been formulated yet.”

Medical marijuana infrastructure could take up to two years to be put in place in the state.

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