Cleveland Clinic will not recommend medical marijuana to its patients

Within days, medicinal products containing marijuana could be in the hands of Ohio patients.

According to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, 4,964 patient recommendations have been submitted through the registry in four weeks. Of those recommendations, 3,575 people have activated their registry card.

One provider who will not be recommending medical marijuana to its patients is Cleveland Clinic.


No weed-and-wine tours in Ohio. Medical marijuana dispensaries will be off-limits to most

Marijuana tourism has become an industry unto itself in states such as Nevada and California, where marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use.

Some travel agencies even offer cannabis getaways to Denver, Las Vegas and other cities, where party buses heading to dispensaries for cannabis tours have become a common sight.

Marijuana retail outlets have even teamed with restaurants and wineries to offer "weed-and-wine'' or "eats-and-edibles'' tastings in on-site consumption lounges.

But the party stops at Ohio's border.


First Ohio medical marijuana sales expected next week – if all goes according to plan


Ohio's first medical marijuana sales could happen at the end of next week – provided everything happens as planned.

Medical marijuana has been grown and harvested, and one dispensary is ready to open its doors. But all marijuana flower and products must be tested for potency and contaminants by an independent lab before they can be sold. 

Two testing labs have received final certificates of operation from the state. Both were collecting samples from some of the 29 state-licensed marijuana cultivators on Wednesday.

Hocking Technical College's testing lab received its certificate of operation Tuesday. Lab director Jonathan Cachat said the lab could have results back to cultivators by mid-week next week.


Ohio medical marijuana program to roll out this month

Ohio residents waiting for medical cannabis have had to witness one of the slowest program rollouts that any state has ever seen. However, Chris Lindsey, senior legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project told sources earlier this week that patients will be able to get legal cannabis within the next few days.

“This will benefit patients because there will finally be licensed facilities patients can visit to get medical cannabis that has been tested and meets state standards,” said Lindsey. “Patients shouldn’t have to wonder if they are following the law or getting a safe product. Retail access finally offers that clarity.”


Ohio patients started 2018 thinking medical marijuana would be available by now

Ohio patients started 2018 circling Sept. 8 on their calendar: the day Ohio's Medical Marijuana Control Program was supposed to go live.

But a few months before, it became clear delays getting businesses approved and licensed would delay the program's start indefinitely

"Rome wasn't built in a day and it's important to think about the context this program is operating in," said Lawyer Thomas Haren, who represents businesses in the medical marijuana industry. "This is a brand new industry here in Ohio."

The indefinite delay put the whole system in limbo.

In late December, the board that controls Ohio's budget gave the program a more than $4 million loan after the program had already pulled in roughly $5 million through application and licensing fees.


With Ohio's first medical marijuana dispensaries opening, Cincinnati area not quite ready

With the first medical marijuana dispensary opening soon near Steubenville, attention will soon shift to southwest Ohio, where the dispensaries are still not ready for business.

The original hope was for the medicinal marijuana program in Ohio to be up and running by Sept. 8. That has not happened as the dispensaries in Hamilton County are in varying degrees of construction or development. One of the local dispensaries is still under construction, while another has reserved parking spots, but can't see inside to know how far along it is. Another one has a new, green roof.


The wait for medical marijuana in Ohio could soon be over

After months of delays, patients could be able to get legal medical marijuana in Ohio in a matter of days. 

Mark Hamlin with the Ohio Department of Commerce says some licensed growers are preparing to harvest their plants. And he adds one dispensary in Wintersville near Steubenville is likely to open soon. In recent days, a certificate of operation was granted to the North Coast Testing Laboratories in Streetsboro near Cleveland.


Doctors recommend nearly 4,500 people for medical marijuana registry

State officials say doctors have submitted nearly 4,500 recommendations in the medical marijuana patient and caregiver registry for Ohio.

The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy announced on Monday that the number of recommendations now totals 4,440, with at least 3,036 people completing the information online and activating registration e-cards.

The registry is the online portal where doctors certified to recommend medical marijuana can register patients and caregivers. It went live Dec. 3.


After delays, Ohio’s medical marijuana ‘right on the cusp’

Signed into law by Gov. John Kasich in 2016, Ohio’s medical marijuana program offered hope to thousands of patients.

One of the final pieces of getting marijuana to patients — the approval of a testing facility — came late last week. No matter when the program begins, it likely won’t meet demand initially.

The industry struggled this year, missing a key Sept. 8 deadline as growers, processors, testers and dispensary operators slogged through myriad regulatory hurdles required everywhere from city zoning administrators to the state’s marijuana board to even the U.S. Department of Education.

The result also slowed the timetable for the program’s patient and caregiver registry, which went live with just less than a month left this year.


Ohio's medical marijuana patient e-cards double in second week

The number of Ohioans allowed to buy medical marijuana doubled in the second week that the program started accepting registrations. And there's renewed hope they might yet be able to purchase product this year.


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