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Ohio Dept. of Commerce releases Cultivation Applications & Webinar for Ohio Medical Marijuana Licenses

The Ohio Department of Commerce released the application and instructions for Cultivators last Friday and will begin accepting applications in June 5-16 for Level II & June 19-30 for Level I. The department plans to issue up to 12 level I licenses for up to 25,000 square feet of growing space and 12 level II licenses for up to 3,000 square feet of space.  The application doesn't indicate when licenses will be awarded. But the department faces a December deadline to do so because growers have nine months to meet the requirements of the license and state law requires the program be operational by September 2018.

Ohio Medical Marijuana Cultivation Application

Applicants are asked to drop off a paper and electronic copy of their applications with the application fee in person at the department's Columbus office. The nonrefundable application fee is $20,000 for level I applications and $2,000 for level II applications, both must be paid with a money order or certified check.

If awarded a license, Level I cultivators would have to pay a $200,000 annual fee & Level II cultivators would pay $20,000 a year.

Today the Ohio Department of Commerce also released the webinar to help guide applicants through the application process of obtaining a Level I or Level II cultivation license.




Final Ohio Medical Marijuana Cultivation Rules & Regulations For Licensing Released


The cultivator rules for 24 grow sites have been finalized for Ohio's Medical Marijuana program:

12 Level 1 - 25,000 sq.ft.

12 Level 2 - 3,000 sq.ft.

The Department of Commerce could be able to further expand the number of licenses or square footage for grows beginning in September 2018.

Also included in the rules is an outline for application and license fees for Ohio Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Processors and Testing Labs, passed the Ohio legislature’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review without objection on Monday.

The rules will be officially filed by the end of April and are set to take effect before the May 6 statutory deadline.  Rather than divide the state into four quadrants, as initially discussed, licenses will be awarded across the state to the best applicants through a point system and lottery.

The license fees and financial requirements are among the highest of the country's 28 medical marijuana programs.  The state will charge a $20,000 non-refundable application fee and $180,000 license fee for large grows, and a $2,000 application fee and an $18,000 license fee for small cultivators.

The Commerce department will begin taking applications for grower licenses in June. Applicants must meet baseline financial criteria and have local approval for their proposed site, among other requirements.

Rules and regulations for dispensaries, processors and laboratories are still being worked on but must be in place by Sept. 8.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana program will be putting out a webinar in the next few weeks to help guide everyone through the process of filling out the application.  We will continue to cover this as it happens.

Other requirements for cultivators:

  • A person or company cannot own or invest in more than one cultivator.
  • Applicants must show local support for the plan and no bans or moratoriums can be in place.
  • Demonstrate the facility will be secured by fencing, 24-hour surveillance and security alarms.
  • Maintain an inventory of at least 20 pounds of medical marijuana for large growers and 10 pounds for small growers.

How will applications be scored?

Applications will be screened first to determine whether they are complete. A separate panel of reviewers will then score the applications based on criteria set by the rules. The applications reviewed in this stage won't include identifiable information.



Affirmative Defense Has Been Successfully Used After A Full On Raid

There was a full on raid done by an Ohio city against a man for a small amount of concentrate.  He was successfully able to use Affirmative Defense and received his medicine back, but also an apology and perhaps retribution for any damages done during the raid.

The patient used the Ohio Patients Network form to correctly document his medical marijuana conditions after seeing an Ohio medical marijuana friendly doctor.

This story is just developing and we will get more info up here to this blog entry ASAP - so stay tuned!


UPDATE 3/29/17 - Last week an Ohio patient successfully used an O.P.N. (Ohio Patient's Network) recommendation form. Unfortunately, it was not done with ease.  To clarify before more speculations arise on social media, we are not suggesting this will work in every case scenario.  We are simply giving the general public a story of success.  Also, all parties involved will NOT be published, due to HIPPA compliance law.

The patient flew home to Ohio from Colorado last Thursday, it is not clear why the TSA alerted the local task force; however they were able to obtain a search warrant by 6 a.m. Friday.  The patients home was then raided, but authorities only discovered 5 grams of concentrate.  The patient's attorney arrived to explain that his client was within the bounds of Ohio law, as said patient has a qualifying condition and a doctors recommendation using the Ohio Patients Network Form that we have listed below.

The medication was then given back with an apology, along with immunity from further prosecution, related to this case.

If any or more info arises, we will continue to update this blog entry.







stem.jpg.2463d72ae8284f4a13daaf8fb0709c67.jpgWell hello OhioCannabis.com Readers,

I cannot thank you enough for supporting me on this journey and wanted to let you know that I have an exciting new set of interviews that I will be releasing in coming months, starting with none other than one of Ohio’s hopeful, first upcoming dispensary chains, STEM Dispensaries.


I was first able to meet Stem Dispensaries reps at the Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory meetings this fall. I was blown away by the branding attached to this Ohio Based Dispensary already as they showed me and the OhioCannabis.com team their brand’s logo on already printed hats and stickers.


We clicked instantly and were able to get into deep conversation about the structure of Ohio’s Dispensary program. Despite the rough edges of HB 523 discussed at our lunch meeting, the STEM Dispensaries team was still eager to go all in on the not so out of reach dream of owning a legal dispensary in Ohio. Their passion intrigued me and I really couldn’t wait to find out more about them and their organization.


I was able to catch up with STEM Dispensary reps later through email to get to the root of what their organization really is and what is their goal for setting up shop in Ohio. Below are my questions with the team’s responses underneath. Enjoy!


1. What is Stem dispensaries?


STEM Dispensaries (Science. Technology. Education. Medicinals) is a medical marijuana Dispensary with hopes of obtaining a license in the State of Ohio. STEM Dispensaries was organized by a hand-picked group of industry professionals with a proven track record of success. The STEM team is committed to providing their customers with the most effective products every time they walk through the door.


2. What made you want a dispensary?


The dispensary space is where you can engage and teach patients on the benefits of medical marijuana. In a dispensary, patients have the opportunity to explore a variety of alternative medicines.


3. Did you study any other dispensaries? If so, who?


We consulted and continue consultation through industry leaders. These leaders will continue to walk us through the processes and operation methods they have faced in the medical marijuana dispensary space. They will help us form the best operations, security plans, and overall customer experience through the existence of STEM Dispensaries.


4. How do you plan on educating people about your products?


We hired a clinical director who will write and implement a free patient based training program. This program will include consultation for any questions a patient would need pertaining to medical marijuana. ie: The Endo-cannabinoid system, How Medical Marijuana helps patients, and differences in Sublingual, Transdermal and Topical training classes.


5. What are some of the biggest challenges you faced thus far trying to get into this industry?


We are fully prepared to the challenge of entering this space. The limiting amount of licensing would be the only barrier. The STEM team is compiled of a pharmacist, physician-assistant, educator,entrepreneurs, marketers, and consultation from the medical marijuana industry.


6. What charities do you plan to give back to?


STEM Dispensaries will offer a program for veterans, disabled, and patients with financial hardships. We will work with local charities to determine the needs of each organization.


7. What ailments do you want to laser target on helping?


All ailments under HB523. STEM Dispensaries are committed to the patient needs.


8. How do you plan to help the community you open in?


The cities who embrace medical marijuana will thrive from the economic benefits. We will help the local communities by offering jobs for local members. Donating to local charities and offering a safe, knowledgeable environment for patients to obtain there medicine.


9. Do you have an area you want to place your dispensary in already or are you still open?


We plan to apply for licensing in Columbus, Dayton, and Akron, OH. We have spoken to local

constituents and they will welcome us in their cities.


If you would like to find more out about STEM Dispensaries, feel free to check out their Facebook Page Directly at: http://bit.ly/2mI9dgb or their website at: http://bit.ly/2lQENuN

They are also conducting circulating a survey that you can take here: http://svy.mk/2l93V13

Much Love & Until Next Time, Stay Pushing


Tia Marie Trees





Our very own Johnny was featured in an article on TestClear.com!

Lack of education about the effectiveness of cannabis

I think continuing to push research to the forefront will stop the naysayers who think cannabis isn't effective.

We've discovered so much about what this plant is capable of these last 10 years that I think it's blown everyone's mind. And then that pushes us to the education.

When people understand something they're more comfortable and ok with it especially when they realize this plant is actually helping people and not hurting society the way it's been demonized.

Imagine where we'll be legally and research wise in another 10 years. We've just rediscovered the most amazing plant on this planet.

Johnny is the Mad Scientist & Wizard behind the curtain of OhioCannabis.com. He proudly handles OhioCannabis.com, the #1 Industry Insider & Lifestyle Brand for marijuana-related news. Visit their Facebook page: /ohioweedcom/.




On February 19th, 2017 I attended one of many to come Akron - Kent Norml meetings in the Acme Fresh Community room in Stow, Ohio. This meeting was by far one of the most refreshing events I’ve been to in  a long time. Numerous activists and cannabis enthusiasts gathered in a spacious community room inside Acme Fresh. Hosts provided snacks as well as a detailed agenda of what was to be covered during the meeting along with handout information like Freedom of the Leaf books and business cards they received during the the Cleveland Norml speed networking event that happened the day before.


Wendy B, president went over the general things like Treasurer's Financial Report, New Business, Akron Sensible Marijuana Ordinance, Ohio Medical Cannabis Status, and Fundraisers / Events. She told us of events that would be coming up and went over information on the most current Akron Sensible Marijuana Ordinance or as Wendy referred to it, “De-penalization” Ordinance. This act, like the one introduced last year by myself and Mr. Gary Enos would make it a zero fine for the possession of marijuana up to 200 grams. In turn, this would drain the money out of these convictions and would defer police from busting criminals for small amounts of cannabis. For anyone who doesn’t know, 199 grams is about 7 ounces so this could be huge for everyone in the Akron area.


Action meetings are to begin soon to start training's for signature collectors with the goal being 13,000 with approximately 8,000 valid signatures from Akron residents needed. This is more signatures than is needed than Cleveland, but with a little bit of encouragement and dedication, it is totally and completely possible. They are aiming for 11/07/2017 for the mayoral election so if you are interested in helping the cause and collecting signatures, please contact Akron / Kent NORML for more information or keep watching their Facebook page for updates.


The meeting briefly went over Ohio’s Medical Cannabis Status during the meeting. House Bill 523, became effective on 09/08/16 with rules adopted by 09/08/17 and fully operational by 09/08/18. Newly proposed rules include 60 dispensaries with possibly more occurring by 2018 and 24 grow sites with 12 being level 1 and 12 being level 2. Norml Members also encourage people to post feedback about the Ohio Medical Marijuana Program Rules, confirming that the rules have already been changed TWICE due to Ohioan’s emailing their feedback.


Stated in one of the handouts titled “Ohio Department of Commerce Processor Rules - Public Input Accepted** “ the Department announced the following: “As one of three state government agencies responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing the state's Medical Marijuana Control Program, the Ohio Department of Commerce is tasked with developing rules that will govern the operation of medical marijuana processors in the state of Ohio. The primary focus of the rules is to develop a program that ensures the safety of the public and access to a safe medical product.


The draft rules presented to the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee were developed after bench-marking with other states and talking with industry experts. The draft rules include flexibility to allow the program to respond to changes in demand.


The Department is accepting public input on the draft rules. The draft rules are available on the Medical Marijuana Control Program website, medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov/rules.”


Despite the fact that this handout stated that all comments placed after Feb. 10th will not be considered for the Processor and Packaging Part, I would encourage activists and citizens alike to send your feedback and suggestions on all aspects of the program to their listed comment accepted email address which is: MMCPRules@com.ohio.gov. For more information you can also visit their website at: medicalmarijauana.ohio.gov.


OhioCannabis.com has also came out with a promo video that explains why it is so important that they receive your feedback that you can find here: OHIOCANNABIS.COM PROMO VIDEO


One of the last things the meeting addressed was some of the fundraisers and events coming up. On 4/21 Akron / Kent Norml will be partnering with the Vortex for the Still B?azin event where artists like North Coast Shakedown and Tha Grimey Onez will be performing. There will also be a Miss 420 Beauty Pageant with Cash Prize. Entry is $8.00 and the doors open at 7:30pm. received_742027952613892 (1).jpeg


The other event coming up is the Annual Cleveland Global Marijuana March @ Fort Huntington Park at high noon. I don’t have much information about this one right now but I promise I will get it to my readers as soon as it becomes available.


Overall, it was fantastic to see Miss Jolie again and to have the chance to meet Wendy B and Nycole Brownfield in person and get them connected with Canton Super Star Activist, Kimberly Dinsio.


I am very excited for this year and to have the opportunity to work with this amazing group in the future. I will be planning on attending as many meetings as possible and will keep my readers posted on what’s going on with Bud in the Buckeye State.


Much Love & Until Next Time, Stay Pushing


Tia Marie Trees


Tia Marie Trees.png





Ohio doctors are not ready to take the risk just yet to recommend Medical Marijuana to patients in Ohio (Part 1)

Today I met with a physician, to gather an idea of the fear's and concerns that Ohio doctor's face with medical marijuana. The fear isn't just with the medical board and risks of loosing their license, as previously thought. 

They see liability and insurance concerns to be at the top of the list. The problem is most doctor's are within a group or hospital, which mean their malpractice insurance is covered by that group, such as hospitals, clinics, ect.  However, knowing that most private practices are of the dinosaur age, finding a physician that is willing to leave their group, is and will be a task, considering they no longer have the same insurance protection and will need to pay out of pocket for their own malpractice insurance. The costs of this can easily start at $30,000. Which is why private practice is being pushed out in the first place. 

The "unknown" liability aspects are of major concern, example if your patients is using medical cannabis, within the legalities of HB 523, and the patient drives while being under the influence of prescription medications, including recommended cannabis, is it possible that legal action can be taken against the "recommending physician". 

In addition, some medical professionals are under the assumption that they aren't just writing recommendations, but their impression without legal representation, is they are writing a prescription for the individual patients and have no knowledge of what strains or CBD & THC content needed, for specific diseases outlined on the house bill. 

He also, mentioned that most physicians have not researched the potentially uses and possible dangers associated, and it isn't that they don't see potential, but from a medical standpoint, there simply isn't enough United States backing research. 

It appears the "unknowns" are the cause of majority of licensed doctor's to not want to be the first to take that leap, even with knowing, that immunity as outlined in HB 523, provides protection of liabilities. 

Another issue is, the overall unknowns coming from the committee, what changes might take place, how will those changes effect certified recommending physicians, and what happens when those changes are made. In short how will this effect my future as an Ohio state licensed medical doctor, and how can I maintain my patients needs, if changes will be implemented, down the road. 

As, he stated this is just the beginning, and physician's and patient's need to know understand the road is long, and as seen in other legal states, it leaves out those who cannot afford the medical marijuana needs, and veteran's are still left out, when it comes to using the V.A. for their medical needs. 

Stay tuned for part 2 of this deeper look into what's holding physicians back.



Date: October 19th, 10:00am to Noon at the entrance of the Ohio Medical Board headquarters located at 30 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43215.


The purpose is to exert public pressure on the Medical Board of Ohio. The Medical Board statements undermines HB523/Section 6 and “Prolongs the Pain” as the Toledo Blade editorial pointed out recently.  The Medical Board of Ohio is being misleading by telling doctor they are not permitted to do so and then adding go talk to your lawyer.  Physicians all over Ohio are not making medical marijuana recommendation that they are legally able to do based on what the Medical Board of Ohio is telling them.  


As a consequence patients are being stripped of having any legal protection at all.  Section 6 of HB523 was intended to be a bridge to when the program becomes operational in 2018 and offer patients the means to defend themselves if they had a law enforcement encounter.  Please note; due to the Ohio 1997 Senate bill 2, Medical Marijuana patients can be prohibited from having their doctor from testifying and providing medical documentation for using marijuana medically. 


After the demonstration, we will go across the street and visit a few legislators and maybe pop into the governor’s office.  At 2:00pm we will meet at Columbus Commons.  This is a 9-acre park and green space in downtown Columbus, Ohio located on the site of the former Columbus City Center mall. The address is 160 S High St, Columbus, OH 43215 and within a block south of the State Capitol.


Attached is a small handout you may wish to print it double sided and two to a page.  In other events it has been very well received by the public.


Toledo Blade Link 






Marijuana Legalization Open Forum

Co-sponsored by the Case Western Reserve University Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, and the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland


Live Stream of this event:




Kenny Yuko, Ohio State Senator, District 25 (tentative)

Brian Bachelder, President of OSMA and Family Physician at Akron General Hospital

Garett Fortune, CEO, FunkSac, Compliant Packaging for the Cannabis Industry

Thomas G. Haren, Seeley, Savidge, Ebert & Gourash., L.P.A., editor, OH Marijuana Law Blog

Moderator: Jackie Borchardt, Columbus Bureau Reporter, cleveland.com  

For more information contact: Felicia Westbrooks, 216-368-2090


Ohio became the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana earlier this year but the debate about cannabis reform is far from over in the Buckeye State. Rules for the medical marijuana program will be written in the coming months, and advocates as well as the national group that had spearheaded a competing ballot initiative are pushing lawmakers to make good on promises made when they approved the program. What will Ohio's medical marijuana program look like? And what does the law mean for future marijuana reform efforts in Ohio?


Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma-Snow Branch

2121 Snow Road

Parma, Ohio 44134

Thursday, October 13, 2016
7:00 - 8:30 pm






BROOK PARK, Ohio -- City council members passed a resolution Sept. 20 that will initiate a process to manage the presence and implementation of medical marijuana in Brook Park.

Originally Brook Park has instituted a 6 month moratorium but Councilwoman Julie McCormick introduced new legislation to amend the original moratorium.

"This would lay out a plan of how we're going to respond to the state's legalizing medical marijuana," McCormick explained to council. "(It involves) holding public hearings and recognizing that our residents have the right to use this and that we need to be responsible in how we implement this in Brook Park."

It also "recognizes the potential for economic development opportunities that may arise (in Brook Park) as a result of the state's new medical marijuana laws." Council wants to ensure, however, that any medical marijuana initiatives are "done safely and responsibly."

Councilman Tom Troyer emphasized "there are people that can really use this."

"This legislation complements the moratorium we already passed," Troyer said. "It gives us a chance to come up with our own rules and regulations concerning this. It's not recreational but for medical use."

McCormick indicated in an e-mail to cleveland.com that council members will work with Mayor Tom Coyne to arrange public hearings. The intent is to gather feedback from the community, as well as from industry experts, pharmacists and physicians.

"The goal of holding the public meetings is ... to determine how Brook Park will respond to the state's legalization of medical marijuana," the resolution indicates. "The council of the city of Brook Park supports the rights of residents to access medical care to alleviate pain and suffering from qualified medical conditions as determined by the state of Ohio and it new Medical Marijuana Committee."



State Senator Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) released the following statement to address the legislative intent of the affirmative defense provision in HB 523, the bill establishing a medical marijuana program in Ohio. The senator's statement is in response to the guidance to physicians issued yesterday by the State Medical Board of Ohio.
“The goal of the affirmative defense is to expedite access for patients who have a qualifying condition and a recommendation from their doctor. It would protect them from a possession of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia conviction. This was considered an appropriate compromise to avoid forcing those in significant need to wait while Ohio took the important time to effectively establish the regulatory system.”
“The affirmative defense section spells out everything a physician would need to do to provide patients with this limited, short-term protection without having to wait for the agencies. It simply wouldn’t make sense to read it any other way.”



Plant Material May be Outlawed in HB 523 Revision

While the current Ohio Medical Marijuana HB 523 does allow for the sale of plant material or "flower" to patients to vaporize, according to Cleveland.com - Ohio's law HB 523 allows "plant material" to be sold, but prohibits smoking. The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy will likely narrow that description to marijuana to exclude dried flowers.

We will see how this plays out and if the Ohio Medical Marijuana Committee will continue to allow plant material to be sold to patients.

There is much a head of the new panel that is currently in the midst of being created, but no doubt addressing this is at the top of their list.



Call Your Local Represenative & Tell Them You OPPOSE HB 597!


Medical marijuana patient ID cards from most other states would not be accepted here under a new bill -- the first attempt to tweak Ohio's new law. 

But a legislator who worked on the medical marijuana law said the new bill is premature and seeks to address a problem that doesn't exist. 

Ohio law calls for the state to enter into reciprocity agreements with medical marijuana states that have similar patient eligibility requirements. That would mean Ohio patients could use their state-issued patient ID cards to use medical marijuana in other legal states and vice versa. 

House Bill 597 would limit those states to those that don't allow marijuana to be smoked or grown at home since Ohio's law prohibits both practices. Neighboring Michigan allows both.

The bill's sole sponsor Rep. Kyle Koehler, a Springfield Republican, said Thursday the legislation was not intended to hurt Ohio patients.

He said the reciprocity language in Ohio law creates a loophole for an Ohio patient to go to Colorado, buy a marijuana plant, bring it back to Ohio and smoke it. In that scenario, Koehler said, the patient could use the reciprocity agreement as a defense. 

"If someone is smoking and growing we're not going to do reciprocity with them," Koehler said. 

But that activity is already illegal under state law, said fellow Republican Sen. Dave Burke of Marysville. Burke, a pharmacist who spearheaded the Senate GOP medical marijuana effort, said reciprocity doesn't give patients a free pass to choose which law to follow -- they must follow Ohio law when in Ohio.  

"I can use my Ohio driver's license to drive 90 miles per hour on a highway in Alaska if that's legal there, but my Alaska license in the inverse doesn't mean I can come to Ohio and drive 90 miles per hour," Burke said. 


What's reciprocity? 

Each of the 25 medical marijuana states operates its own program under its own rules. Most states do not allow out-of-state patients to buy and use marijuana within their borders. 

Ohio lawmakers wanted to make sure out-of-state medical marijuana patients visiting Ohio or receiving treatment at a hospital here could continue to use their medicine without penalty. Likewise, Ohio patients could continue their use while visiting another state.

Ohio's medical marijuana law doesn't  automatically accept patient ID cards from all medical marijuana states. Instead, it requires the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy to make a "good faith" effort to enter into reciprocity agreements with states that meet two criteria: 

  1. The state's eligibility agreements, including qualifying medical conditions, are substantially comparable to Ohio's.
  2. The state will recognize Ohio's patient IDs. 


How would reciprocity work? 

The short answer to that question (and many others about Ohio's law): We don't know. 

At least eight of the 25 medical marijuana states offer some legal protections for patient cardholders from other states. Generally, that means out-of-state patients can't buy marijuana at dispensaries but won't be arrested for possessing it. Four states and the District of Columbia allow adults over age 21 to buy and possess marijuana for any purpose. 

Burke said lawmakers also intended to apply reciprocity to doctors, which he said the state medical board will sort out. So if an Ohio patient saw a specialist in another state, that doctor's recommendation could meet the law's requirements. 

"What if your world-renowned neurologist is in Colorado -- are we going to say you're not going to see that doctor? Or if there's an oil from a special strain grown in Washington state, you can't have access to that product simply because Washington allows smoking and homegrow?" Burke said. "We feel [reciprocity] is a good thing for both physicians and patients."





Ohio attorneys given green light to advise medical marijuana clients


Ohio attorneys were assured Tuesday by the state's high court they could assist medical marijuana clients under the new law.  A non-binding advisory opinion issued in August suggested Ohio lawyers couldn't advise medical marijuana businesses and patients under the state's professional conduct standards because the substance remains illegal federally.  Bringing the uproar surrounding attorney representation of Ohio medical marijuana clients largely to an end, on September 20th the Ohio Supreme Court formally adopted an amendment to Prof.Cond.R. 1.2(d). The new Rule 1.d(d) reads:


(d)(1) A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is illegal or fraudulent. A lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct with a client and may counsel or assist a client in making a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning, or application of the law.

(2) A lawyer may counsel or assist a client regarding conduct expressly permitted under Sub. H.B. 523 of the 131st General Assembly authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes and any state statutes, rules, orders, or other provisions implementing the act. In these circumstances, the lawyer shall advise the client regarding related federal law.


As amended, this rule change would resolve the concerns of many lawyers, including westlake attorney Thomas Haren with Seeley, Savidge, Ebert & Gourash Co. LPA, who originally submitted the rule change to the Ohio Supreme court regarding the representation of clients in the medical marijuana industry.

In addition, this change does not address whether the Rules authorize an attorney to use medical marijuana or whether an attorney may own and/or operate a medical marijuana establishment. Those issues continue to be addressed only by the August advisory opinion.

Thomas Haren, who requested the initial advisory opinion, said he was satisfied with the rule change but would have liked to see the court allow more leeway in interpreting Ohio's law, as Alaska did in its ethics standard. Ohio's new law establishes a structure for the medical marijuana program but many of the details will be drafted in the coming months by three regulatory agencies.

"The only time that we may still have a gray area is on the margins where a client asks an attorney to determine whether something is permitted under the law and it's not clear," Haren said.


Rianne JEMSU

Despite the federal government classifying pot as a dangerous drug with no medical value, the state of Ohio has emerged as the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana. According to Ohioans for Medical Marijuana representative Aaron Marshal, the law will not only regulate the use of marijuana as a medicine but also its trade in the health sector.

Concerned parties and governing bodies

shutterstock_195620264.jpgPatients and their care givers; cannabis enthusiasts and interested growers and traders will be required to familiarize with the law and the adopted system as per the 3 governing bodies. A medical marijuana control program within the Department of Commerce, the Pharmacy Board, and the Medical Board will be up and running after 2 years to see that the state has its own infrastructure in place to grow, process, test and sell various strands of medicinal pot.

Cannabis medical usage

In the new law, a doctor will NOT PRESCRIBE BUT RECOMMEND that a patient consider medical marijuana only where a proven doctor-patient relationship exists. Marijuana will be used in its edible, oil, vapor, patch, tincture or plant matter form. Vaping will be limited to extracts from plants by approved sources with THC content of under 70 percent. However, not much is said on the vaping equipment by the law. 

Smoking and home-growing of pot remains illegal within the state, even by patients.  Dispensation will be from licensed dispensaries of only up to 90 days supplies.The State Medical Board may determine additional conditions. Nevertheless, patients suffer from AIDS, amyotrophic,Alzheimer's disease, cancer, epilepsy, Crohn's disease and others may apply to become registered users.

Growers, manufacturers and traders

Interested growers or traders need to be alert during the 2-year broad deadline period as from today.

Good news to interested ventures is that financial institutions will be authorized to conduct business with licensed cultivators, processors, retail dispensaries, or labs. Licensed retail-dispensaries may be regulated or prohibited by municipalities and townships. Agricultural-use zoning limitation may also be applied to regulate retail dispensaries in unincorporated territory by counties and townships.

Before 240-days from today end, the Department of Commerce shall establish application procedures, fees, disqualifying factors, and the number of licenses for cultivators, processors, and retail dispensaries, based on population, number of patients, and geographic distribution. 15-percent of all cultivation, processing, or laboratory services will be owned by business people who are residents and members of economically disadvantaged groups in every geographical area.

Manufactures will be required to specify the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidol rations on the labeling. Manufacturers will also be prohibited from making the products attractive.  They will do marketing of their products while avoiding to draw a lot of attention, fuss and hype about the product.  They should not do marketing to drug addicts and minors.  Dispensing of medical marijuana will also be made inaccessible to minors.  Cultivators and processors will be required to undertake their activities not within 500-feet from schools, churches, libraries, playgrounds and parks.

Want to learn more about the latest Ohio Cannabis news?  Stay tuned to our blog.





Ohio’s medical marijuana program is unique in several respects. At this point, there is no indication that dispensaries will be required to operate as non-profits, which has been common in other medical states. Also, ownership interests in marijuana entities will not be limited to Ohio residents. Though these provisions provide flexibility, Ohio’s laws are fairly restrictive in other respects. For example, patients will not be allowed to smoke marijuana; they instead will be compelled to rely on edibles, vapors, tinctures, and other non-smokable forms of marijuana. Ohio is also implementing caps on the amount of THC in marijuana (35% for “plant material” and 70% for extracts) and it is also considering implementing a “closed loop” medical marijuana payment system. This closed loop cannabis payment system is intended to address what has been a major thorn in the side of cannabis businesses: the lack of reliable banking for cannabis businesses. Ohio cannabis patients would receive preloaded cards to use at state-licensed dispensaries. The Ohio Department of Commerce is considering this proposed payment method.

One of the more interesting aspects of Ohio cannabis is its attempt to promote diversity in its cannabis industry. The state plans to issue 15% of available cultivator, processor, laboratory, or retail licenses to entities “owned and controlled” by United States citizens who are residents of Ohio and who “are members of one of the following economically disadvantaged groups: Blacks or African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics or Latinos, and Asians.” If there are no applications or an insufficient number of applications submitted by such cannabis entities, the licenses will issue in accordance with department rules. “Owned and controlled” means “at least fifty-one percent of the business, including corporate stock if a corporation, is owned by persons who belong to one or more of the [foregoing groups], and those owners have control over the management and day-to-day operations of the business and an interest in the capital, assets, and profits and losses of the business proportionate to their percentage of ownership.” This unique approach could address the often noted lack of diversity in the cannabis industry.


Rianne JEMSU

Ohio recently became the 25th state to legalize the regulated use and sale of medical marijuana. Because medical marijuana has yet to be legalized on the Federal level, each state to implement a medical marijuana policy has had to craft its own nuanced laws on its use and distribution. Before being permitted to prescribe this substance, doctors in Ohio must complete training and register with the state.  Only then will they be able to recommend patients  through a "registration process determined by the Ohio State Pharmacy Board," according to cleveland.com. Because each patient has to go through the same rigorous registration process, the state can control who receives the recommendations. This helps to prevent abuse of the system, but it also means that those who need treatment may need to wait longer.

 Only once these recommendations are approved by the state are patients able to use marijuana, but there are many caveats. One striking difference between Ohio's medical marijuana laws and those in most other states is the fact that smoking is still prohibited no matter the circumstances. Forcing those who wish to use the substance to use a vaporizer.  Furthermore, until some sort of system for cultivation and distribution is set up there is still no way for patients to legally obtain marijuana, though they will not be penalized for possessing it.

Another key difference between Ohio's medical marijuana laws and those in states such as California is the limited number of conditions for which you can receive a recommendation. Under the new law, there are only about twenty conditions that warrant medical marijuana.  Though this may change in the near future, this list is rather short compared to many other states. Though Ohio's medical marijuana program is one of the more stringent in the country, it could pave the way for a more relaxed approach to medical marijuana in the future. 



Rianne JEMSU

It woushutterstock_407906761.jpgld be nice if the state of Ohio legalized medical marijuana for every single medical condition that causes chronic pain. Yet, only a handful of maladies qualify for treatment with this miracle plant. If there is a silver lining in the state's somewhat stringent medical marijuana law, it lies in the fact that our wounded warriors who suffer form post-traumatic stress disorder will be able to legally treat their condition with highly potent medical strains of marijuana.

Ohio Medical Marijuana Basics

Ohioans with qualifying medical conditions will be able to legally treat their maladies with medical marijuana beginning on September 8, 2016. The state's medical marijuana program was recently signed into law by Ohio Governor John Kasich. His signature made Ohio the 25th state to legalize medical cannabis program, making this powerful herb available to upwards of 175 million Americans.  This figure represents more than one-half of the United States' entire population.

Unfortunately, it will likely take two years for Ohio's medical marijuana program to be rolled out in its full capacity on a statewide scale. Plenty of Ohioans are disappointed by the fact that they will not be able to enjoy their medical marijuana with a joint, blunt, bowl or bong. They will be limited to vaporizing medical weed as state officials are adamant that allowing residents to smoke marijuana is analogous to an endorsement of smoking tobacco. It is certainly highly flawed logic yet, Ohioans should take solace in the fact that they will soon be able to treat many of their health problems with pain-relieving medical marijuana.



Ohio's Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana

The state has specified a relatively short list of qualifying medical conditions that are eligible to be treated with medical marijuana.  

Qualifying conditions are as follows:



Alzheimer’s Disease

Epilepsy or a seizure disorder of another variety

Crohn's Disease

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Multiple Sclerosis

Parkinson’s Disease

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Tourette's Syndrome

Ulcerative Colitis


Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Also known as AIDS/HIV)

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy - Better known by the acronym of “CTE”, this degenerative disease has been found in numerous ex-football players, as well as those who have participated in other contact-heavy sports.

Sickle Cell Anemia

Chronic Pain

Severe Pain

Intractable Pain

Spinal Cord Diseases

Spinal Cord Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

Hepatitis C

It is important to note that Ohio's state medical board is empowered to add any other medical condition or disease to this list of qualifying conditions/diseases across posterity. Section 4731.302 of the Revised Code allows for such an addition.

Stay tuned to Ohio Cannabis for the very latest cannabis news, industry trends and more!

Rianne JEMSU

Ohio lawmakers passed legislation to legalize medical marijuana this past May. State Governor, John Kasich, signed the bill into law one month later. The bill's enactment will spawn a heavily regulated program that will take at least an entire year to coordinate.

Details About Ohio's Medical Marijuana Legislation

The Ohio Department of Commerce, Ohio's Board of Pharmacy and the State Medical Board will control Ohio's medical marijuana program. Those who obtain a script from their doctor for medical marijuana will not be allowed to smoke it or grow in in their home. Rather, they will be forced to vaporize their medical marijuana.

Which Ohioans Qualify for Medical Marijuana?

Merely suffering from the occasional headache or slight arthritis will not be enough to qualify one for a medical marijuana script. The legislation lists specific conditions that qualify a patient for the powerful painkiller. Examples of qualifying conditions include glaucoma, fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, sickle cell anemia, ulcerative colitis and epilepsy/seizure disorders. The door is open for patients to petition the Ohio Medical Board to tack on additional conditions in the future.

Why Can't I Smoke or Grow Medical Marijuana?

Lawmakers have stated that they never considered legalizing the smoking or growing of medical marijuana. Their logic is that medicine should not be smoked. However, qualified patients are allowed to consume medical marijuana through a vaporizer.  According to The Columbus Dispatch, Ohioans will be permitted to consume medical marijuana in the form of "... edible products, vaporizing and in lotions and patches..."

Doctors' Role in Ohio's Medical Marijuana

Doctors who would like to write recommendations that allow patients to access medical marijuana must first register with the state. They will be required to complete a cannabis education program before they are permitted to recommend medical marijuana to patients. Each patient will require written permission from a qualifying doctor before indulging in the powerful substances.

Will Using Medical Marijuana Lead to the Termination of my Employment?

Unfortunately, patients can be fired for using medical marijuana. Though numerous states have passed medical marijuana legislation, the plant is still illegal on the federal level. Judicial precedent has been established for employers to legally terminate employees for using medical marijuana, even if they used marijuana when off the job.

When Will Medical Marijuana be Legal in Ohio?

The letter of the law states that it could be two full years until Ohio's medical marijuana program is up and running.  However, those who have obtained written permission from a qualified doctor will be able to use the plant as soon as September.  The only problem is that Ohio dispensaries will not open their doors for another year or so.  Those who are in desperate need of medical marijuana will have to take a trip to another state where medical/recreational marijuana has been legalized. Some of Ohio's pain-sufferers will inevitably resort to the black market until Ohio's dispensaries are up and running.  

Rianne JEMSU

Last June, Ohio joined the ranks of states like Oregon and California, legalizing the medical use of marijuana. Signed into law by Governor Kasich, this new law is not set to go fully into effect for at least a year, as three different government agencies the Ohio Department of Commerce, the State Pharmacy Board and the State Medical Board – gather to oversee the new program.

Once the law goes into full effect, the next task for Ohio residents have a bit of an uphill battle as the infrastructure is in the beginning stages.  Which leave many Ohioans left with two questions “How do I find a doctor who can prescribe medical marijuana?” and “How do I find the marijuana itself?”

Finding a doctor – Finding a doctor to prescribe and approve your medical marijuana license can often be the most difficult task to complete. But it is the first step you must take if you wish to use medical marijuana to treat your ailments. Unfortunately, many medical professionals in Ohio are hesitant to prescribe this treatment as it remains in a legal haze.  

Thankfully, there are several Internet-based resources for finding a doctor amenable to prescribing medical marijuana. Here are a few of them:  

Finding the drug –  Once you have cleared the first hurdle and received your medical marijuana license, the next problem arises of where to find the product. The obvious source is in-state local suppliers who will also be overseen by the same agencies as the dispensaries. While there are no suppliers operating at the present, there are several out-of state ones poised to enter the Ohio market place when the new law takes effect on September 9th.   

The actual state of medical marijuana is far from settled in Ohio. Proceed slowly before taking any action and certainly do not do anything illegal. There are many rivers to cross as they say. For more information on medical marijuana in general on or on specific Ohio doctors who will prescribe medical marijuana, please visit OhioCannabis.com. 


Rianne JEMSU

Recently Ohio joined the ranks of nearly half the country by legalizing the medical use of cannabis. Let's take a look at the specifics of Ohio's medical marijuana law and compare its language to that of the laws in other states where medical marijuana has been legalized.

Ohio's Medical Marijuana law Versus That of Other States

Unlike other states where medical cannabis is legal, Ohioans who wish to utilize this treatment option will face a few hurtles.  Ohio's medical marijuana legislation is similar to that of New York, as patients will not be allowed to grow it or smoke it in the traditional manner. Rather, the new law requires patients to purchase a limited amount of the product from a dispensary and consume it through a vaporizer.  In contrast, Washington D.C. has its own unique set of marijuana laws in which only the sellers are punished. Beltway residents over the age of 21 can now legally buy, use and grow medical marijuana.

Yet states like Colorado, Oregon and Washington have a totally different set of laws when it comes to marijuana. Both medical and recreational marijuana are legal in these states. Anyone over the age of 21 can purchase marijuana through a dispensary in these states. Their laws are quite the contrast to those in states like Wisconsin, Texas and Alabama where the sole form of legal cannabis is an oil extract known as cannabidiol that treats childhood epilepsy.

In addition, Ohioans will not be reimbursed by their insurance companies for the cost of medical marijuana. Ohio's medical marijuana law also states that local governments have the power to shut down or severely limit operations at local marijuana dispensaries. 

Ohio's Extensive List of Qualifying Medical Conditions for Medical Marijuana

All in all, Ohio lawmakers have included a whopping 21 unique medical conditions in the state's medical marijuana legislation. This is an astonishingly high number compared to other states. Examples of medical conditions that will qualify an Ohioan for medical marijuana use are post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV/AIDS, ulcerative colitis, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. This is quite an extensive range of qualifying medical conditions compared to most other states.

Though Ohio's medical marijuana law certainly accounts for a myriad of health conditions that are not recognized by other states' medical marijuana laws,shutterstock_265428695.eps there are some states with an even longer list of qualifying conditions. As an example, Illinois residents can obtain access to medical marijuana if they suffer from any one of nearly 40 medical conditions.