Ohio Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Another state has jumped on the medical marijuana bandwagon. With his signature on June 8, Gov. John Kasich made Ohio the 26th state to enact a relatively broad MMJ bill

LIke the previous states to pass similar legislation - Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Louisiana - smoking cannabis is not allowed under HB 523. Oils may be vaporized, edibles and tinctures can be consumed, and patches can be adhered to one's skin. "Any form or method that is attractive to children is prohibited," the bill states. Presumably, this refers to gummy bears and other candy-type items. Extracts cannot exceed 70% THC.

Patients and caregivers must apply to the state Board of Pharmacy in order to register. The treating physician is required to submit the application. Processors and testing labs need to file applications with the Department of Commerce. Fifteen percent of the licenses are earmarked for "economically disadvantaged groups," including African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics and Asians. Dispensary licenses go through the Board of Pharmacy. Dispensaries cannot also own production facilities or testing labs. The same 15% provision applies to dispensary licenses as well.

The bill allows for a "reciprocity agreement with any other state under which a medical marijuana registry identification card or equivalent authorization… is recognized in this state."

Cultivation licenses prohibit home growing. Cultivators can't grow for "personal, family or household use."

The allowable amount a patient or caregiver can possess can't "exceed a 90-day supply."

The qualifying conditions are: acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Crohn's disease, epilepsy or other seizure disorders, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic or intractable pain, Parkinson's disease, HIV, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette's syndrome, traumatic brain injury and ulcerative colitis. There is a provision to add other conditions.

Aaron Marshall of Ohioans for Medical Marijuana states: "We still have much work ahead of us to improve this imperfect law while holding state lawmakers and regulators to the promises contained in HB 523, but we are proud of the role that we played in getting this law enacted. We plan on working to better this program, utilizing our amendment as a roadmap for those improvements." 

The program doesn't go into effect until 2018.

Read the entire 126-page bill here.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.