In roughly two weeks safe access to medical cannabis is getting one step closer to becoming a reality in Ohio.
The Ohio medical cannabis program was first approved in June 2016 and is going to pass a major milestone early next month.
Originally the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy planned to announce which entities were selected for cannabis dispensary licenses this week.
However, the Board decided to delay the announcement until its regular monthly meeting June 4-6.
Prospective patients in Ohio will finally know where they may eventually be able to purchase medical cannabis.
How many licenses are expected to be issued?
The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy is expected to announce licenses for 56 dispensaries at its regular monthly meeting.
Dispensary licenses that are awarded will be located in 28 different geographic districts throughout the state.
It’s being reported that at least 2 geographical districts will have no dispensaries due to ‘either no applications being received or a lack of qualified applicants.’
The southwest region of Ohio is going to have up to 15 medical cannabis dispensaries due to program rule requirements.
A patient registry is expected to launch in July and legal sales are expected to be fully up and running by September 2018.
What are the qualifying conditions in Ohio?
As of the posting of this article, below are the conditions that a patient can qualify for in order to become a medical cannabis patient in Ohio:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable
- Parkinson’s disease
- Positive status for HIV
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sickle cell anemia
- Spinal cord disease or injury
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ulcerative colitis
More conditions are likely to be added to the program in the future, but it’s unknown when that will be and what conditions will be added.
When will Ohio legalize cannabis for adult use?
Adult-use cannabis legalization was on the ballot in Ohio in 2015, however, the initiative was soundly defeated.
The 2015 campaign was riddled with issues and the flawed strategy and undesirable initiative provisions ultimately led to the initiative’s downfall.
Cannabis advocates have made attempts to get legalization back on the ballot ever since but those efforts were unable to gain sufficient traction.
Unless the Ohio Legislature steps up and passes an adult-use legalization measure between now and 2020, Ohio’s best bet for full legalization will be via an initiative in 2020.
Ohio is a very big domino being that the state is the 7th most populous in the nation, and national organizations and funders will hopefully make Ohio a top target for the next presidential election year.
If you live in Ohio, start raising awareness now, and always contact your lawmakers to urge them to save everyone’s time and pass an adult-use legalization measure ASAP!