CLEVELAND, Ohio –Ohio has legalized the use of marijuana, also known as cannabis, a preparation of the Cannabis plant that can be used as a psychoactive drug or as medicine. The state’s law on medical marijuana was submitted in June 2016. The law simply states that patients who meet any of the approved 21 medical conditions are given the privilege to buy and use marijuana if prescribe by a doctor who is registered in the state.
However, this legalization is still bound by rules. No one can immediately go to a cannabis seller to buy weed. Gov. John Kasich created a program last Wednesday which is carefully regulated by three government agencies. One of the regulations of the program is to ban the recreational use of weed. It is also illegal to grow marijuana in one’s residence.
To be able to consume medical marijuana, you must have one of the 21 medical conditions that were approved for the medical use of the drug. Some of these conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Chron’s disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, fibromyalgia, seizure or epilepsy, hepatitis C, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic to severe pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD), Parkinson’s disease, intractable pain, spine injury or illnesses, sickle cell anemia, brain trauma, ulcerative colitis, and Tourette’s syndrome. However, an individual is welcome to file a petition to add more medical conditions to the list.
In addition to the approved list of medical conditions, the physician who will make the diagnosis must be a registered doctor in the state. The doctor must have undergone some training about medical marijuana before giving prescriptions to patients. Moreover, the patient to be registered for marijuana use will be further examined by the Ohio State Pharmacy Board.
The patients who meet the conditions set by the law and have the doctor’s prescription may use medical marijuana starting this September. However, there is no clear indication about the dispensaries patients can get their medical marijuana from.
Even though the medical use of marijuana has been legalized, the state is still in the process of adding and drafting some rules to properly regulate its use. Some of these rules are about cannabis business operations and dispensaries, which include the processing, growing, and selling of cannabis.
Ohio plans to provide 24 licenses for small marijuana business operations. At least half of these 24 licenses provides the right to have a growing space that should not be more than 3,000 sq. ft. The other should not have a growing space that is more than 25,000 sq. ft. The application for the licenses has been opened since June 5, 2017, and it will close by the end of June.
For this reason, there are some investors who are looking forward to be working in the marijuana industry. There are business-minded individuals who are already taking advantage of this opportunity by raising capital and looking for a good business location. However, Ohio won’t consider providing a growing license to any site in a host city with a growing moratorium.
Marijuana weed growing must be done indoors and must be 500 ft. away from libraries, churches, and schools. The drafting of rules and regulations of the law are expected to be done on September 8 of this year. The full operation of the law is expected to start on September 2018.