Rules set for Ohio’s tightly regulated medical marijuana program

COLUMBUS, Ohio — State regulators writing the rules for Ohio’s new medical marijuana program wrapped up their work Monday, one month ahead of the statutory deadline.

The result: A tightly regulated program that will start small, with the ability to grow as more patients sign up.

Rules and regulations for medical marijuana stores, product manufacturers and testing labs; doctors, patients and caregivers were among those that cleared the Ohio legislature’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review on Monday without objection from the panel. The rules officially take effect in August.

Cultivator rules specifying license requirements for medical marijuana growers were approved in April, and the state is now reviewing 185 applications for 24 grow licenses.

Ohio legislators passed the medical marijuana law in late May 2016, but it will likely be more than a year before patients can walk into a dispensary and buy their medicine.

The law established a framework for the program that established 21 qualifying medical conditions and a two-year time line for rolling out the program. The law also doesn’t allow smoking marijuana or growing it at home.

Details such as who will grow and sell marijuana and how much patients can buy, were left to the Ohio Department of Commerce, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and Ohio State Medical Board.

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