Medical marijuana law leaves ‘gray area’

Ohio’s medical marijuana law goes into effect on Sept. 8, but the “rules of the game” have yet to be determined, according to Zach Thomas, director of education for Hancock County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services.
Thomas, in conjunction with the Hancock County Community Partnership and the Findlay-Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, held two meetings Tuesday to discuss the impact of medical marijuana legalization.
The law, which was signed by Gov. John Kasich this summer, goes into effect in nearly a week, but there’s a lot of “gray area,” Thomas said.
“People will be able to use medical marijuana starting Sept. 8, but all rules and regulations on how it’s really supposed to take place do not have to be in place until September of 2018,” Thomas said.
“So there’s this huge lag time of what’s going to happen in our state, when the fact that people are allowed to use it medically in our state, but there’s no process in place to monitor that yet,” he said.
A marijuana commission will be created and overseen by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, the Ohio Department of Commerce and the Ohio Medical Board, Thomas said.
Regulations must be developed by the commission, including how the drug will be advertised, the number of dispensaries and marijuana cultivators, and taxes. A training process must also be established for doctors so they can prescribe it properly.

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