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Make Your Voice Heard Regarding Ohio Medical Marijuana House Bill 523!

We at stand STRONGLY with our new partner - The Ohio Cannabis Institute and have formed a NEW voice for all Ohioans to help make change happen NOW!  Visit to have your voice heard & PLEASE share this video and message with everyone you know to help get this movement off the ground!





Ohio Towns With Medicial Marijuana Moratirums


This particular blog & accompanying forum thread located here will be continually updated with the cities, towns, counties & municipalities that have placed any type of moratorium on any cultivation, processing or retail dispensing of medical marijuana in Ohio.

HB 523 allows municipalities to establish their own regulations to prohibit or limit the number of marijuana operations.

Please feel free to add to the list or correct us if you come across others we are missing or have by accident - this is going to be a big undertaking.


6 Month Moratoriums:

  • Lakewood
  • Beavercreek
  • Piqua
  • Rocky River
  • Lima
  • Portsmouth
  • Ohio City
  • Parma
  • Brooklyn
  • North Canton
  • New Albany
  • Pickerington
  • Avon Lake
  • North Olmstead
  • Olmstead Falls
  • Sheffield Village
  • Tallmadge City
  • Clayton
  • Miami Township
  • Miamisburg
  • West Milton
  • Medina
  • Broadview Heights
  • Bresksville
  • Strongsville
  • Munroe Falls
  • Hudson
  • Stow
  • Springfield
  • Westlake
  • Fariview Park
  • Xenia
  • Wapakoneta
  • Tiffin
  • Bryan
  • Napoleon
  • McConnelsville Village
  • Aurora
  • Covington
  • Port Clinton
  • Sandusky
  • Vermillion
  • Huron Township
  • Perkins Township
  • Grandview Heights

12 Month Moratoriums:

  • Dover City
  • New Philadelphia
  • Akron
  • Cleveland
  • Upper Arlington City
  • Franklin
  • Middletown (Butler County)
  • Liberty Township
  • Ross Township
  • Zanesville
  • Lancaster
  • Fremont
  • Fostoria
  • Concord Township
  • Waterville
  • Weathersfield
  • Loveland

18 Month Moratoriums:

  • Bexley (Proposed Ordinance 36-16)


24 Month Moratoriums:

  • Findlay



  • Hamilton, Butler County
  • Belmont County has banned Employees use of MMJ
  • Bay Village (They city officials wanted to point out that they may retract the ban at some point in the future)



No Breaks For The Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee

Learn the latest updates to Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Bill HB523

Welcome again Readers!


It is almost time for the holidays, but that doesn’t mean Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory committee has stopped working. On Thursday December 15th, 2016, and I attended a meeting held at Vern Riffle Center in Columbus. This meeting covered physician, dispensary, & cultivation laws while touching on many other issues like the seed to sale app.


When I first walked into the meeting, the committee members were already in deep discussion about the physician part of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Bill. Just like last meeting, it was mentioned that physicians will have to complete a course in order to recommend medication. The committee also explained that even though they are still working out the details, there will be a suffix on the physician's license that will be identify the doctor as one who is licensed to recommend medical marijuana. However, whether they will have a book or type of directory that will identify them as cannabis recommending doctors is yet to be determined. Laws will also require an in person visit to get a medical marijuana recommendation. You can watch the full 13 part segment in our video section.


After finishing up the Physician discussion, the meeting broke for lunch and Tim Johnson once again proved that he has the best taste in restaurants that side of Columbus. Tim brought us to Graze Columbus, which is neatly tucked within Ohio’s State House. We dined on a wide variety of dishes, with myself deciding upon a fantastic chicken wrap that featured fresh quinoa and vegetables along with adobe like chicken.


Our table which included Tim and his wife Wendy, crew, and hopeful future Stem Dispensaries owner, discussed the progression of the meeting and an upcoming conference called: The Cannabis Impact: Opportunities, Issues, and Challenges for Ohio This event will include Tim and some other Ohio cannabis superstars as a part of the line up on February 4th, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio. This conference will be hosted by Theresa Daniello, founder of TDCANN Institute.


Theresa Daniello is a cannabis expert that has traveled throughout the country, who was able to join us at our table before dessert. She was able to give us a deeper look into one of the speakers that will be coming to the event in February. His name is Don E. Wirtshafter Esq. and he seems to be a hidden gem among canna-enthusiasts. As he is Director of Cannabis Museum, he holds the key to several cannabis and hemp artifacts in the palm of his hand and will be presenting some of this information at Theresa’s event in February. I was also able to get a sneak preview of the museum by Tim Johnson, and cannot tell Ohio Cannabis Insiders how excited I am to speak to rack this man’s brain.


After we finished lunch we ventured back over to the meeting and took our seats. This time around, committee members went deeper within dispensary laws as well as explaining how they reached their conclusions. To much surprise of the audience, it was announced that there were to be only 40 dispensaries to start out with for Ohio’s 88 counties.  Each will have a biennial (every 2 years) fee of $80,000 for the license and an application fee of $5,000. Remind you that an annual pharmacy license remains at only $1,000.00.


The current rules as they are written, will also make it impossible for patients, whether in hospice or critical care, to have their medication transported to them. When asked if drugs like morphine and other pharmaceuticals are able to be transported, the panel members replied yes. There was talk of possibly allowing patients to receive medicine at their homes with doctor recommendation, however as it stands, this will STILL NOT BE ALLOWED.


On a brighter note, before closing, the committee brought news that cultivation centers will be expanded. Tier 1 Grow Sites would be increased from 15,000 to to 25,000 square feet while Tier 2 Grow Sites would be increased from 1,600  to 3,000 square feet.


Closing comments were met with mixed feelings by advisory members, stating that strict rules will make it that much harder to get participation from physicians. With 45% out of 3,000 doctors surveyed already saying they will be unlikely to recommended, this could be a huge blow to Ohio’s Medical Plan. It was also mentioned that closing down additional revenue streams such as t-shirts, hats & vaporizers in dispensaries will make it challenging for them to stay afloat and in turn cause the system to fail.


Regardless of the likelihood of this system's success, there is one person that seems to be the shining star for patients and asking the tough questions that will get us to where we need to be - James “Ted” Bibart. A legislative analyst whose studies state medical marijuana laws for Benesch Attorneys at Law, would be that person. Not only was I impressed by the way he handled himself but also by the way he directed the meeting to get back on task when it seemed to get down one of the committees endless loop questions.


The next meeting should be in January, so before then I encourage you and all my readers to let your state know what you think about these rules by visiting their public comment page. Once again, this is Tia Marie Trees and I hope you have a fantastic day.


Until Next Time,


Stay Pushing


Tia Marie Trees


The Laws Come Out At The Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Meeting 


Hello happy readers,


It is my pleasure to becoming to you again with the latest updates on Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Laws. Last week, we were notified two days before, there would be a brief meeting held at our state's capital at the Vern Riffe Center - 31st Floor - Room South B & C building to go over the Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee's advancements on implementing HB-523 on Ohio soil.


Unfortunately I was unable to attend the first session where the committee went over the morning itinerary which included: “Ethics” and “The Sunshine Laws.” I was lucky enough, however, to get the rundown from Tim Johnson after the meeting who said, “The morning half of the MMJ Advisory Committee consisted of;  A self introduction of each committee member introducing themselves and their position on the board. The Commerce Department Director spoke as to their role. An Attorney General representative spoke about public records request, ORC 149.43, to obtain certain information from the Advisory Committee. And they discussed the ethics section in the Ohio Sunshine Laws in reference to participation or involvement with the HB 523 industry.”


Before the afternoon session, I had the chance to meet with some morning attendees head  to a local Taco joint called Condado Tacos. This is where I was able to network and grab lunch with some of Ohio’s upcoming influencers which included potential Dispensary Owner from Stem Dispensaries and Cannabis Safety First also mentioned above, Tim Johnson.


Tim was on tour with The Senate Listening Tour,  Senator Yucko, and Senator Burke. He attended and spoke at all three locations, Cleveland State, University of Cincinnati, and Toledo University.


Mr. Johnson also attended the MMJ Task Force Committee Hearings, the MMJ House Select Committee and the MMJ Senate Select Committee during the marijuana 23 meetings and testified at all but 1 time. He has a background in law enforcement and has been resilient in making sure that he stays in his efforts in helping make cannabis medicinally legal throughout Ohio.


Over lunch, Tim discussed with us some of the potential dangers potential cannabis owners are going to face as the industry evolves and becomes more defined. Some of these possible dangers included such as Transportation Safety, Cultivation Safety, and Dispensary Safety. His firm will specialize in constructing security plans as well as offering On Site Training, Security Consulting, Take In The Regulatory Compliance Side For that will keep both people and products safe.


After enjoying some spicy but delicious tacos, we were able to conduct some video interviews then head back up to the 31st floor where the meeting was held. Media was allowed to sit in the back of the room while board and committee members alike sat in the very front , facing opposite from the crowd in a U - Shape that allowed them to view a power-point presentation that displayed the plethora of the new policies and procedures that would be making up Ohio’s new “green industry”.


People like members Hunt and Reed gave us insight into the bill and their reasoning behind certain sections, answering the panel's questions during and after the presentation was complete.


Some of the most valuable things I took away from their presentation was:

1 ) Physician Information

2 ) Administrative And Rule making Process

3 ) Rules And Regulations For The Cultivators


The Physician's Certification Process will require doctors to hold an additional certification that will allow them to recommend medical marijuana. By September 8th, 2017, Ohio law requires the State Medical Board of Ohio to adopt rules for physicians certified to recommend medical marijuana.


The Administrative and Rulemaking Process is a process that is headed by the Marijuana Advisory Committee and allows for 4 opportunities for the public to make comments about the rules. They asking Ohioans to start making feedback on the rules which they can submit at the committee's website at:


Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 12.17.14 PM.png


The Rules And Regulations For The Cultivators were laid out by the committee as they also announced that they would release 12 Level 1 licenses and 6 Level 2 licenses prior to September 9th, 2018. To get an insight into other rules and regulations for cultivators, check out our exclusive video coverage on our youtube channel or find out more by visiting their website.


In closing, it was apparent that the board and committee members agreed that there is still a lot of work to be done, but they were grateful for the supreme efforts that Hunt and Reed have already been putting in. One suggestion that was made in closing by a panel member was that she needs more time to clearly review the material. She said more time would allow her to bring the type of questions that will help make Ohio a model for other states looking to pass Medicinal Marijuana legislation.


Despite the short notice, it was a very informative meeting that really brought some light to what exactly is going on with Marijuana Laws in the state of Ohio.


Until next time,


Tia Marie Trees




Medical Board Clarifies Marijuana Guidance For Doctors

Grogwer Volume #85, Report #202 -- Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Ohio doctors can recommend medical marijuana to patients under an affirmative defense provision in the state's medical pot law, the State Medical Board clarified Wednesday. However the board will still be unable to certify doctors for the full program until rules are promulgated.

The clarification comes as medical marijuana advocates have voiced concerns that the board's previous statement on the issue would deter doctors from recommending it.

Patients with qualifying conditions are able to possess some versions of the drug before the program's full implementation through an affirmative defense against prosecution under the recently enacted medical marijuana legislation (HB 523).

"The Medical Board is in no way prohibiting the recommendation of medical marijuana now that HB523 is effective," board member Robert Giacalone said at a meeting of the board's policy committee.

Mr. Giacalone made the statement on behalf of the board after responses to its initial statement in September offering guidance to doctors on the issue. (See Gongwer Ohio Report, September 23, 2016) The board stands by that statement, saying doctors cannot issue state-approved written recommendations until they receive a certificate from the board, and the rules for how those certificates can be issued have yet to be developed.

The medical marijuana law is tricky, Mr. Giacalone said, and doctors should be careful if they choose to recommend the drug to patients.

"If Ohio physicians wish to recommend medical marijuana before the rules are in place, we strongly recommend that they contact a private attorney because the legislation is not crystal clear and could be interpreted as providing conflicting instructions to physicians," he said.

Rob Ryan, with the medical marijuana advocacy group Ohio Patient Network, said doctors need clear guidance that they can make recommendations before the rules are fully developed. The affirmative defense works when patients, doctors and law enforcement know it will work.

"Those three aspects I think are the real core of the affirmative defense. The doctors have confidence, the patients have confidence, and the law enforcement say let's deal with the real crime," he said in an interview.

Doctors are already recommending marijuana to patients, he said, but more clarification on the process for recommending would ensure more doctors are confident about doing so.

"These doctors are busy," he said. "They need a clear statement that says they can or they can't."

Michelle Price, a Dayton pharmacist who supports medical marijuana, said patients are also concerned about the affirmative defense and are seeking more certainty on what they can and cannot do.

Tim Johnson, representing the pro-medical marijuana group Veterans Ending the Stigma, said advocates were in Columbus Wednesday to encourage lawmakers to address other concerns regarding medical marijuana. They planned to focus on legislation including a bill (HB 290) aimed at increasing access to experimental drugs for terminally ill patients, and a bill (HB 597) addressing medical marijuana reciprocity agreements.

Medical Board Executive Director A.J. Groeber also provided board members with an update Wednesday on work the staff has done regarding medical marijuana, including visiting Illinois to learn from that state's system.


Ohio State Medical Marijuana Board has it's heads appointed


Friday September 23, 2016 Governor John R. Kasich announced the first 10 committee members appointed to the new Ohio Medical Marijuana Committee.

Monday September 26, 2016 Senate President Keith Faber appointed 2 additional members to serve on the advisory committee.

Thursday October 16, 2016 the final committee members have been announced.

The panel, by state law, has to include members who represent doctors, pharmacists, employers, labor unions, law enforcement and others potentially impacted by the law.



Ohio Medical Marijuana Committee

Chairman: Curtis L. Passafume, Jr., R.Ph. [Pharmacist, VP of Ohio Health's Pharmacy Services] of Hilliard (Franklin Co.), has been appointed Chairman

Pharmacy: Timothy J. Bechtold of Columbus (Franklin Co.) has been appointed to represent Pharmacists for a term beginning September 23, 2016 and ending June 30, 2020.

Pharmacy: Stephanie M. Abel, [Pharmacist at James Cancer Center & working with Ohio State University's pain and palliative care program ] of Dublin (Franklin Co.) Has been appointed to represent Pharmacists

Christopher J. Allwein of Columbus (Franklin Co.) has been appointed to the Public Benefits Advisory Board for a term beginning September 23, 2016 and ending June 30, 2019.

Addiction: Tony E. Coder, Jr. [Asst. Dir. Drug Free Action Alliance] of Mount Gilead (Morrow Co.) Has been appointed to represent Drug & Alcohol Addiction Treatment {Opposes and is against Ohio Medical Marijuana & HB 523}

Argriculture: Michael G. Hirsch [Hirsch Fruit Farm] of Chillicothe (Ross Co.) Has been appointed to represent Argiculture

Physicians: Dr. Jerry W. Mitchell, Jr. [Oncologist at Zagmesiter Cancer Center] of Powell (Delaware Co.) Has been appointed to represent Physicians

Physicians: Dr. Amol Soin [Physician & owner of a chain of pain clinics & OSMA Board member] of Xenia (Greene Co.) Has been appointed to represent Physicians

Employers: Michael E. Stanek [NE Ohio CFO & board member of the Greater Cleveland Partnership] of Avon Lake (Lorain Co.) Has been appointed to represent Employers

Academic Researcher: Gary L. Wenk, Ph.D. [OSU Professor, studies medical benefits of marijuana on the endocannabinoid system] of Columbus (Franklin Co.) Has been appointed to represent Researchers

Law Enforcement: Sheriff John Lenhart (Shelby Co.) [Shelby County Sheriff] Has been appointed to represent local Law Enforcement

Caregivers: Martin McCarthy Jr. of Parma (Cuyahoga Co.) Has been appointed to represent Caregivers

Labor: Jason Kaseman [Political director for United Food & Commercial Workers Union] Has Been appointed to represent Labor

Nurses: Nancy Walsh Mosca (Mahoning Co.) [Mahoning County Nurse & Nursing Director] Has been appointed to represent Nurses

Patients: James "Ted" Bibart [Legislative analyst who studies state medical marijuana laws for Benesch Attorneys at Law] Has been appointed to represent Patients

Mental Health: Marcie Seidel [Executive Director of Drug-Free Action Alliance] Has been appointed to represent Mental Health Treatment {Opposes and is against Ohio Medical Marijuana & HB 523}


They have been appointed to the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee for terms beginning September 23, 2016 and continuing at the pleasure of the Governor.

The committee will "develop and submit to the Department of Commerce, State Board of Pharmacy, and the State Medical Board any recommendations related to the Medical Marijuana Control Program and the implementation and enforcement of the related Ohio Revised Code."

HB 523 requires this new Ohio Medical Marijuana Committee to hold it's first meeting within 30 days.

We will continue to update this particular blog with as much information on these new board members that we can.



Ohio Marijuana Law Reform

On September 8, 2016, Ohio passed HB 523, which legalized Medical Marijuana for qualifying patients. By passing legislation, the State of Ohio was able to secure a place in front of all the progress already achieved by citizen led initiatives.

Over the years, many initiatives have tried to make it on the ballot, but fell short of either money or signatures. Activist from all corners of Ohio have worked together with shared hope to bring Ohio a comprehensive, compassionate and fair reform of marijuana laws. In 2015, Responsible Ohio, a campaign consisting of investors, was successful at placement of Issue 3 on the November ballot. Ohio voted the full legalization initiative down with a margin of 2/1; full cannabis legalization was not the reason for disapproval, but rather the oligopoly nature of the bill.

In the months following the failed Issue 3 initiative, subsequent polling confirmed that Ohioans were unopposed to cannabis legalization, whether full legal or medical-only. A survey sponsored by the national organization Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), showed that 3 out of 4 Ohioans thought medical marijuana should be a constitutional right for those in need. MPP launched a campaign driven by Ohio activists and philanthropists; this patient-focused medical marijuana initiative was short-lived. At the end of May 2016, Marijuana Policy Project suspended their efforts to place medical marijuana on the November ballot. The decision came as a surprise to activist involved in the signature gathering process, as well as the residents of Ohio.

MPP’s decision to pull out of Ohio stemmed from Ohio State Representatives’ announcement to fast track a medical marijuana bill, formally called House Bill 523.

The movement from the State House shaped a special task force designed to consider how the administration should move forward. Senator Kenny Yuko (D) and David Burke (R) spearheaded the task force, embarking on a listening tour to evaluate patients’ needs, grasp an overall understanding, and assess the support of legalization. Through diligent and focused dialog, the General Assembly passed HB 523, officially ordered in Section 3796.29 of the Ohio Revised Code.

The bill allows Ohio to license medical marijuana cultivation, processing, testing and dispensary locations over the course of the next two years. Legislation states that a fully regulatory medical marijuana market will be in place no later than September of 2018. This ensures patients will be able to purchase, travel with, and use medical marijuana in the state of Ohio.

Since the legislature passed a bill without a plan or regulatory platform in place, an affirmative defense clause was included in the law. The legislative intent of the affirmative defense provision is to expedite access for patients who have a qualifying condition and a recommendation from the patient doctor. The idea of protecting patients from possession or paraphernalia convictions during the waiting period is the goal. The affirmative defense section of the law gives a summary of how a physician should proceed in providing patients with limited protection within the interim time. has designed an Ohio Medical Marijuana Recommendation form that will help guide patients and doctors. The link is here:

The State of Ohio has delegated all of the regulatory authority to either the Department of Commerce, The State Board of Pharmacy and The Ohio State Medical Board. The Department of Commerce will regulate the cultivators and processors; the regulatory process must be complete by May 6, 2017, this includes how many cultivation licenses will be available and how people apply for them.

The State Board of Pharmacy will write regulations for dispensaries and develop the process for registering patients; the regulator process must be complete by September 8, 2017.

The Statehouse Representatives are sensitive to the cultivation community, and want to alleviate any concerns of large amounts of Ohio grown medicine going to waste over unfinished regulations. These specifications show good policy, allowing time for cultivators and processors to yield enough product to support the market. The expectations are that shortly after cultivators are operating the rest of the industry will follow.


The Physicians of Ohio Finally Have Some Direction & So Does Affirmative Defense

osmalogo.png The State Medical Board of Ohio dealt a blow Friday to the hopes of some patients that they might be able to legally use medical marijuana before the state has put its own system of growing and dispensing cannabis in place.

a written recommendation is necessary in order for a patient to be able to assert the “affirmative defense” provided under the new state law if the patient is caught in possession of cannabis before he or she can buy it from Ohio’s state-run system.

Affirmative Defense according to the Ohio State Medical Board:

What is required of a physician to recommend medical marijuana now that House Bill 523 is effective?

A physician is not permitted to issue a state of Ohio approved written recommendation to use medical marijuana until the physician has obtained a certificate to recommend from the State Medical Board of Ohio. Per House Bill 523, the rules outlining the standards and process needed to obtain such a certificate to recommend will be developed no later than September 8, 2017.

As a way to protect patients and parents or guardians of minor patients who seek to use marijuana prior to the creation and implementation of all the administrative rules necessary to run the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, HB 523 created an affirmative defense for certain marijuana-related crimes. According to the law, a patient, parent, or guardian can only raise an affirmative defense if they have, among other requirements, received a written recommendation from his or her doctor that certifies a certain number of criteria are met. The Board recommends that physicians consult with their private legal counsel and/or employer for interpretation of the legislation.

The Board recognizes that as a result of the requirements of the affirmative defense, physicians will face potentially challenging inquiries from patients during the time period between the effective date of the statute and the date when the certificate to recommend process is fully operational with the Medical Board. The Medical Board will conduct a thorough process in the promulgation of rules related to the certificate to recommend.


“The board recommends that physicians consult with their private legal counsel and/or employer for interpretation of the legislation,” reads the medical board’s advisory.

The Ohio State Medical Association’s position has not changed.

“We would advise our members not to do anything until the rules and regulations have been drafted and promulgated,” spokesman Reginald Fields said. “We understand that may not be for a year or so.”

State board spokesman Tessie Pollock said research has been under way for some time and that the rules will be finalized before the statutory deadline.



Today has been on the calendars of many Ohio advocates, it's a largely symbolic date that most consider the starting line in what could be a complicated path to a working medical marijuana program. 

The Next 30 days:

October 8th, 2016 - With their already approved & funded $1.8 million dollar budget, the Governor and legislative leaders from both parties must appoint 14 members to a new Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee within the next 30 days. Speaker Cliff Rosenberger issued a call for people interested in representing mental health professionals or patients to send a resume to his office at

Before any other rules or regulations or amendments to the law can happen, this MMAC must be created.

The Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee is coordinated by the Board of Pharmacy. The committee may develop and submit to the Department of Commerce, State Board of Pharmacy, and the State Medical Board any recommendations related to the Medical Marijuana Control Program and the implementation and enforcement of the related Ohio Revised Code.

Who consists of this new Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee?

  • Two members who are practicing pharmacists, at least one of whom supports the use of marijuana for medical purposes and at least one of whom is a member of the Board of Pharmacy;
  • Two members who are practicing physicians, at least one of whom supports the use of marijuana for medical purposes and at least one of whom is a member of the State Medical Board;
  • A member who represents local law enforcement;
  • A member who represents employers;
  • A member who represents labor;
  • A member who represents persons involved in mental health treatment;
  • A member who is a nurse;
  • A member who represents caregivers;
  • A member who represents patients;
  • A member who represents agriculture;
  • A member who represents persons involved in the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction; and,
  • A member who engages in academic research.


The Governor appoints the physician and pharmacist members along with the members who represent employers, agriculture, academic research and persons involved in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. The Senate President appoints the member representing local law enforcement and the member representing caregivers, while the Senate Minority Leader appoints the member who is a nurse. The Speaker of the House of Representatives appoints the member representing patients and the member who represents persons involved in mental health treatment. The House Minority Leader appoints the member representing labor.




Medical marijuana is now legal in Ohio, but the law is silent on where residents can become patients and then obtain medical marijuana for medicinal purposes.  It is going to take a year or two before the market is created & setup and there is product available to be sold.

Ohio's new medical marijuana law, HB 523 gives patients an "affirmative defense" against a drug charge, if they have a doctor's note and meet other criteria including suffering from one of the conditions on the approved list. But patients haven't had much luck obtaining such notes ahead of the law's effective date today, another example to add to the law's long list of unknowns. 

The affirmative defense only protects patients using one of the forms described in the law: Marijuana-infused edibles, tinctures, oils, patches and plant material. The law prohibits smoking marijuana and allows vaping, but the final list of approved forms and methods will be decided by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.

Reggie Fields with the Ohio State Medical Board said. "The affirmative defense piece allows a doctor to certify a person has a condition but there's no real system in place to outline exactly what that certification process is & there's still not a formal standard of care for using medical marijuana in Ohio."  

Republican State Rep. Kirk Schuring, who sponsored the medical marijuana legislation, said the program could be fully operational in less than two years and that lawmakers included the affirmative defense measure in the bill so patients, who would qualify under the Ohio program, would not be punished for possessing cannabis while the infrastructure was being set up.

“We’re building a whole new industry from the bottom up,” Schuring said in the report. “A lot of rules have to be promulgated, which will take a significant amount of time.”

While affirmative defense may help in court, it will not prevent an initial arrest.


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