Ohio was the 25th US state to legalize medical cannabis and this week, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy has rolled out the latest rules for medical cannabis law. After clearing the smoke for Ohio’s medical cannabis program, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy has laid down laws for doctors, cultivators, pharmacies and even patients.
The 66-page document covers every detail from who can operate a dispensary to where the business can be located. It also covers the cost of issuing for the state license. Notably, Ohio will issue a maximum of 40 dispensary license up to Sept 8, 2018 for the launch of new cannabis medical program. After this, the states Medical Marijuana Control Board will review every two years if more licenses are required, based on the population of the state and patients.
Drafted rules must be first be reviewed by the 14-member Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee, followed by the state Common Sense Initiative, which is operated out of the lieutenant governor’s office. The rules would also need to be approved by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.
In addition, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy has suggested that the 4o dispensaries be spread evenly around the 88 counties of the state to sell medical cannabis to Ohio patients. Unfortunately, the number is lower than the proposed 1,150 dispensaries in a medical cannabis ballot issue, which was defeated by Ohio voters in 2015.
Other Medical Cannabis Law
Another set of rules, which is scheduled to be released on Thursday, would set the guidelines for the physicians. According to the rule, doctors can suggest but not prescribe medical marijuana to patients. In addition, the physicians should also have an active and unrestricted license to practice the medicine surgery. The rules continue to mention that physicians should establish a bona – fide patient – physician relationship and continue treating the patient. They should also take a two hour course on medical cannabis before they can recommend it.
Meanwhile, state officials have also proposed some changes to the initial rule for cultivators. Under the latest revisions, cultivators will be able to grow 12, but the larger growers would be capped in 12 locations.
Large growing sites would be increased to 25,000 square feet from 15,000; small ones would be increased to 3,000 square feet from 1,600. The revised rules also permit a one-time “build out” of growing sites to a maximum of 50,000 square feet for large ones and 6,000 square feet for small ones.
Unfortunately the traditional form of smokeable cannabis and home cultivation of cannabis by patients have been off the table, and not considered under the newest amendments.