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Ohio Medical Marijuana Law Blog

Zoning laws prevent medical marijuana dispensaries from opening

Medical marijuana has been legalized, at least to a certain extent, in many states in the nation, including Ohio. However, some dispensaries are facing onerous laws and regulations that are keeping them from exercising their lawful right to open shop.

Are Appeals Working For Marijuana Businesses Denied Licenses?

Ohio's medical marijuana licensing procedures have not been going smoothly. Along the way, there have been many errors and many fixes, likely with more to come.

One of the key elements of the process is the right of a business to appeal a denied license when there is indication that it was denied wrongfully. A recent case shows that the appeals process may be working as it should, even if other parts of the process still need tweaking.

Regulatory Obstacles That Can Derail Marijuana Businesses In A Heartbeat

Now more than ever, the cannabis industry offers vast and untapped opportunities for enterprising minds. But starting - and running - a successful marijuana business is by no means an easy road. The regulatory roadblocks alone can be mind-boggling.

In this FREE white paper, entitled "Tricky Business: Navigating Regulatory Obstacles In The Cannabis Industry," our firm outlines the many obstacles confronting marijuana businesses nationwide. 

Poll reports majority of respondents approve of medical marijuana

Marijuana can be a valuable medical treatment for many patients suffering from various illnesses. In fact, one cannabidiol-based drug has recently been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use for certain epilepsy disorders. And, while the legalization of medical marijuana is gaining steam in nation, many states do not permit it, despite public opinion.

A poll conducted in April by Quinnipiac University found that 93 percent of respondents approved of permitting doctors to issue prescriptions for medical marijuana. Thirty states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana for certain medical purposes. Ohio is one of these states. However, marijuana is still illegal in 20 states and per federal law, although four of these states do have very limited exemptions for certain ailments. This means that the possession and distribution of medical marijuana falls in a gray area when it comes to legality, with some state laws permitting it while federal law does not.

Medical marijuana patients and caregivers must register in Ohio

While marijuana cultivation, sale and possession are illegal on a federal and state level, in 2016, House Bill 523, which legalized medical marijuana for certain medical conditions, was signed into law. Although medical marijuana was supposed to be legal to sell in our state, starting September 8, 2018, officials have stated that they will be unable to meet this deadline. However, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program is in the process of issuing certificates to hundreds of businesses -- manufacturers, dispensaries, and more -- associated with medical marijuana.

In addition, as part of the legalization of medical marijuana, all medical marijuana patients and caregivers must register with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. But, identification cards have not yet been distributed. These ID cards will be dispensed when the patient registry is available.

Advances in medical marijuana are made as FDA approves new drug

Some Ohioans who suffer from epileptic seizures may find that, due to their specific medical conditions, their remedies are few and far between. Their seizures could be so debilitating and frequent to significantly impact their quality of life. However, some sufferers of epileptic seizures may soon find more relief as a new medical marijuana drug has been approved by the federal government for the treatment of two specific epilepsy conditions.

In a groundbreaking move, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued its first approval for a cannabis-based drug. The drug, Epidiolex, has been thoroughly studied and submitted to clinical trials. Therefore, the FDA is able to regulate the drug, and it will be available via prescription starting this fall.

Medical Marijuana Clinics Are Opening Their Doors In Ohio

While Ohio's medical marijuana program is still in its infancy, medical marijuana clinics have begun to open their doors. Even though cultivators have not even begun growing medical marijuana yet and dispensaries have a long way to go before they can begin filling prescriptions, doctors and clinics want to get a head start on creating awareness among patients who could benefit from this treatment and getting them enrolled in the program early.

Medical marijuana may be prescribed for pain under Illinois bill

The medicinal benefits of marijuana are starting to become better known. One possible benefit of the drug is pain relief. While scientists are still studying whether marijuana is an effective painkiller, what is known is that, in the wake of the opioid epidemic in Ohio and across the nation, medical marijuana may be a better choice for patients than addictive prescription painkillers.

Under an Illinois bill, physicians would be permitted to prescribe medical marijuana as a substitute for prescription pain medicine. In addition, the bill would eliminate the mandate that individuals seeking medical marijuana be fingerprinted and have a criminal background check performed.

Delays continue for medical marijuana dispensary applicants

Ohio, along with other states, has legalized medical marijuana. However, this does not mean that just anyone can set up a shop to sell medical marijuana. Those who wish to operate a medical marijuana dispensary must be licensed to do so. And, obtaining such a license is proving to be difficult.

The state was supposed to announce on May 30, which of the 376 medical marijuana dispensary applicants would be granted a license to sell medical marijuana. However, this decision has been pushed back to June. According to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, more time is needed to perform background checks and ensure that the dispensaries are located 500 feet or more away from prohibited locations, including churches and schools. The state's medical marijuana program is slated to begin on September 8.

Growers of medical marijuana in Ohio entangled in lawsuit

Although Ohio has passed laws legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, this doesn't mean the process of implementing such laws has run smoothly. Issues have arisen regarding the licensure of marijuana growers, that may impact when such businesses can begin operations.

A lawsuit in Ohio may halt some growers of medical marijuana from being able to begin operation. The lawsuit requests that the Ohio Commerce Department not certify 12 marijuana growers who currently have provisional licenses. The growers are required to have their businesses go through an inspection and receive certification to do grow medical marijuana in Ohio, which will then be sold at a licensed dispensary.

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