While the Medical Marijuana Bill (HB 523) was signed into law on June 8, 2016 by Governor Kasich, there are still many details to be worked out. The Ohio Cannabis Association is your source as the new industry comes to shape.
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Quick Facts – What You Need To Know
- On September 8, 2016 it will be legal to have and use cannabis in Ohio, with a licensed physician’s recommendation.
- The program must be completely up and running within two years, but lawmakers expect it to take less time.
- The details still need to be developed by the Legislature, Department of Commerce, Ohio Medical Board and the Ohio Pharmacy Board.
What it means to you
- Non-medical marijuana is still illegal in Ohio.
- Medical marijuana will not be covered by insurance.
- It remains a federal crime to transport cannabis over state lines, so you will not be able to legally transport cannabis obtained in states like Michigan into Ohio.
- As of September 8, 2016, patients from other states that travel to Ohio (with a doctor’s recommendation and their state’s medical marijuana patient card) will be permitted to possess and consume their medical marijuana while in the State of Ohio.
- Ohio Patients will need a recommendation from a licensed Ohio physician and a medical marijuana card before they will be able to purchase, possess and consume medical marijuana legally.
- Smoking cannabis is not permitted. Instead, patients will be permitted to vaporize, consume medical marijuana in edible form as well as, transdermal patches, topical lotions and oils.
- No one is permitted to grow at home or consume for personal use.
Here’s what’s eligible for medical marijuana treatment:
- HIV/AIDS (any positive status)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
- Fibromyalgia, glaucoma
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic pain that’s severe or intractable
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sickle cell anemia
- Spinal cord disease or injury
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ulcerative colitis.
The business side of things
- Medical marijuana will be regulated by the Ohio State Pharmacy Board, State Medical Board and Department of Commerce.
- Businesses seeking to cultivate, process or test cannabis must apply with the Ohio Department of Commerce.
- The Board of Pharmacy will issue licenses to medical marijuana retail dispensaries.
- An advisory board of 14 people from relevant backgrounds will recommend rules to regulating agencies.
- Local governments can limit and ban cannabis companies doing business in their jurisdiction, but will miss out on the economic development benefits.
- No business will be allowed to operate within 500 feet of a school, public playground, church, public park or public library. Certain criminal convictions are disqualifying for people wanting to grow marijuana.
- Banks, attorneys and other professional servicers have “Safe Harbor” so they can provide services to businesses and individuals working or seeking to work in Ohio’s new cannabis industry, ensuring they can not be arrested for helping cannabis companies.
- Physicians who are certified by the Ohio State Medical Association must first obtain a certificate from the Medical Board before issuing recommendation for treatment to their patients.
- Physicians may be disqualified for certification if they have a financial stake in growing marijuana, have lost their license to practice medicine or have been convicted of certain crimes.
- Doctors will be required to complete at least two hours of training on diagnosing and treating conditions with marijuana.
- Ohio remains an at-will state.
- Current legislation allows for employee termination for marijuana use ― even when it is recommended by a physician.
- People fired for medical cannabis use are not eligible for unemployment compensation.