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Ohio Says Medical Marijuana Program on Track to Begin in 2018

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Progress is being made to solidify regulations for implementing Ohio’s medical marijuana law. Dispensaries are expected to be able to open in September 2018, and it looks like that timetable will be met. Answers to where dispensaries will be permitted to open, who qualifies for use, and who will be permitted to grow will all be answered this year.

One of the first issues being discussed by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee is whether 40 dispensaries is enough for the entire state, according to WFMJ News. Ohio has 88 counties, the law as it is written right now doesn’t allow for a dispensary in every county.

Senate Majority Leader Joe Schiavoni said, “Now the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy has actually made recommendations about how many dispensaries, who can dispense medical marijuana, and where it’s going to be grown. The goal is by September of 2018 to have the system fully implemented, to have it up and running, to have it available for patients with the necessary conditions in order to receive medical marijuana.”

The 14-member Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee is hard at work answering all of these questions and creating a set of regulations based upon the proposed law as written.

Senator Schiavoni commented that, “The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy has come out and the pharmacists groups have come out and said that 40-dispensaries would be adequate. But a lot of patients are already saying that you know that means that certain counties will not have dispensaries so you’d have to drive a considerable amount or distance in order to receive medicinal marijuana from one of the state approved dispensaries.”

Regarding to the slow pace, Senator Schiavoni said, “Ohio is doing this the right way. I’ve talked to some other states about the way they’ve rolled it out. And some other states they’ve really struggled when they’ve tried to rush the process.”

Ohio is taking things slow, but lawmakers believe that they are on the right pace to not cause any additional delays in dispensaries opening in September 2018.