Yesterday, Governor John Kasich signed a bill legalizing Ohio medical marijuana.
The Ohio medical marijuana law will permit patients to have up to a 90-day supply. The actual amount has yet to be determined. No one will be able to grow at home or for personal use. Potential patients will need a recommendation from a physician certified by the State Medical Board of Ohio. Edible marijuana and oils will be permitted but marijuana flower will not be available.
Qualifying conditions to receive a recommendation in Ohio include:
AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable, Parkinson’s disease, positive status for HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and ulcerative colitis.
The law will take effect in 90 days. Local municipalities will have the right to restrict or ban dispensaries. Licensed growers and dispensaries will not be permitted within 500 feet of churches, schools, public libraries, playgrounds or parks. Additionally, employers will still have the right to terminate employees for marijuana use even if they posses a valid recommendation.
The new regulations state that the program needs to be fully operational by no later than two years. During this time, rules for licensing, growing, and possession will be worked out. A Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will create the regulations. This committee will consist of 14 members appointed by Governor Kasich and state legislators.
There were several efforts by advocacy groups to get a medical marijuana bill on the ballot in November. Most seem to have lost momentum and Marijuana Policy Project is dropping their effort. They called the new Ohio law “a step forward.”
Ohio joins a growing list of states that permit medical marijuana.