Ohio Medical Marijuana Officially Becomes Law in September

Medical marijuana will be legal in Ohio on Sept. 8, 2016. But it may still be another two years before patients will gain access to the drug for medicinal purposes. In the meantime, authorities from several different state agencies have the task of drafting and establishing specific rules, regulations and guidelines for how the drug will be cultivated, processed, tested, and eventually dispensed to Ohio patients.

In June, Ohio became the 25th state to pass legislation to make medical marijuana when Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 523. The state has since established an official website, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, that will provide news, information and other resources about the state law as developments occur. State agencies involved include the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy, State Medical Board of Ohio, and the Ohio Department of Commerce.

The Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) supports the use of those drugs prescribed for medicinal purposes that have previously been clinically researched and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Because Ohio’s law allows for medical use of marijuana without conclusive clinical research as to the drug’s benefit the OSMA did not support HB 523. The OSMA, however, commended the Ohio legislature for establishing a responsible regulatory process that allowed for debate and the sharing of ideas for how Ohio would best implement a medical marijuana law.