Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program is now devising protocol on who can recommend, dispense, and grow medical marijuana. Those involved in these decisions are spread across several government agencies. We know September 2018 is the cutoff to finish writing and getting these statutes into effect. Becoming a medical marijuana patient in Ohio is difficult in itself. Only 30% of physicians who took an Ohio Medical Board Survey said they were likely to prescribe marijuana to patients who qualify.
A positive point in this entanglement of administration is that patients can use medical marijuana obtained from other states. Luckily, neighboring Michigan has full reciprocity. Ohioans for Medical Marijuana spokesman Aaron Marshall stated, “If Ohio doctors aren’t willing to participate, others may move into the state to fulfill demand. The sad part of this process, being as slow as it is, is patients are being left to fend for themselves,”
The Ohio Department of Commerce is suggesting 24 initial grow locations. MMJ advocates are anxious that won’t be enough to begin serving the anticipated nearly 190,000 clients. Severe pain is among Ohio’s 20 qualifying conditions, which generally heightens the number of applicants.
Most would admit this is better than the declined 2015 ballot which suggested only 10 locations reserved for prosperous investors. However, no grower can own more than one site and they will be separated among different sections of the state. The Ohio Board Of Pharmacy is suggesting setting up 40 dispensaries by September 2018, with at least one nurse, pharmacist, physician or physician’s assistant on site.
Berman stated, “Ohio got in early enough to take advantage of the excitement the industry is building and the opportunity it creates for local investors and players to be part of the industry.” Draft rules for growers and dispensaries follow a trend in other legislative-led MMJ states.