Many things to consider with the new Medical Marijuana industry in Ohio

When a new industry forms out of the ether like cannabis has, it takes some time for the people to wrap their head around it not only being legal for medial use, but now the brainstorming and idea stages are in full swing with many Ohio entrepreneurs hoping to cash in on Ohio’s new medical marijuana green rush.

But first the lawmakers must set up a commission that will establish the rules and guidelines that you must follow to keep a lawful & organized medical marijuana business in Ohio.  Already some cities & municipalities are putting at least a temporary moratorium on any new cannabis businesses.  But others like Johnstown, Ohio are openly welcoming new medical marijuana businesses  –  “It’s an economic development tool to help promote other business … to locate in the village,” Village Manager Jim Lenner said.

More than $3 million in state funds were allocated to create and operate the Medical Marijuana Control Program in fiscal year 2017.

The program’s website — www.MedicalMarijuana.ohio.gov — was created to inform the public about the program and provide updates. Under many of the website’s “frequently asked questions” section — including questions of how to become a processor, cultivator or a testing laboratory — the answer is they are “under development” by the Department of Commerce.

Medical marijuana can come in various oil-based forms, including tincture, oral spray, capsules and vapor. Some Ohio cities are taking action to restrict the sale of medical marijuana within their limits.

Ohio representative Dan Ramos, one of the sponsors of the bill, says three government agencies will be laying out the plan over the next several months for the creation of the medical marijuana control program.

For those wanting to own a dispensary, Rep. Ramos says it will be similar to obtaining a license to run a business; background checks will be conducted and the dispensary will have to be a certain distance away from schools.

$1.8 million dollars will now be used by the state pharmacy board, Department of Commerce and state medical board to register marijuana dispensaries, hire staff and manage patient-caregiver registration.

Patients would also have to qualify for certain medical conditions from a list of about 21 diseases (as of this writing) with written permission from a physician

For a medical marijuana program to work, there need to be businesses to support the new industry and the patients and doctors who want to access it. Though the specifics of the program are still unclear, entrepreneurs are trying to carve out opportunities for themselves. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports on one business working on that, and one community that’s answered the question of whether they want to welcome medical marijuana dispensaries and facilities – or to try to lock them out.

And Ohio’s medical marijuana program could be a big deal, says Chris Walsh with Marijuana Business Daily, which tracks the industry.

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