Ohio Releases Initial MMJ Program Details

Ohio has released the first information regarding the implementation of its medical cannabis program, the Columbus Dispatch reports, but offered little in the way of concrete details beyond the projected Sept. 2018 roll out of the program.

The Department of Commerce is tasked with developing rules for growers, processors, and testing laboratories; while the Board of Pharmacy will determine the number of dispensaries allowed in the state, and create the rules, applications, and fees for those dispensaries.

Physicians — following the guidelines of other states with only medical marijuana programs — will be allowed to “recommend” medical marijuana, but, due to federal law, will be unable to prescribe the drug. Patients and caregivers will need to register with the state Health Department.

The list of qualified conditions includes 21 severe or chronic medical disorders — including post-traumatic stress disorder — and qualifying patients will be able to access a 90-day supply of marijuana edibles, oils, tinctures, and patches. The measure allows for plant material but does not permit smoking as a delivery method.

According to the official website for the program, officials are currently seeking a medical marijuana analyst “with specialized industry knowledge to assist with the development of the rules and regulations impacting cultivators of medical marijuana.”

Gov. John Kasich (R) signed the bill into law in June. The measure circumvented a ballot initiative campaign backed by the Marijuana Policy Project which would have allowed the drug to be smoked and had a “grow-your-own” provision.

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