Ohio Medical Marijuana HB 523 officially became law 9/8/16 (90 days after the Governor signed it)

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.

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