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.


State loans medical marijuana program $2.1 million

A state board authorized a $2.1 million loan Monday afternoon to Ohio agencies that are running the medical marijuana program, which is experiencing delays getting product on shelves.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program is expected to be self-supporting from license fees from cultivators, dispensaries, testing labs and other medical marijuana-related enterprises. The businesses are to start paying the fees once they receive certificates of operation from state regulators, Mark Hamlin, senior policy adviser for Ohio's Department of Commerce, told the Ohio Controlling Board, made up of lawmakers and representatives of Gov. John Kasich.


Ohioans gun rights go up in smoke for medical marijuana users

Do you want to use marijuana to treat a medical condition, or do you want to own a firearm?  That’s a decision many Ohioans will soon have to make.

When filling out the background check forms to buy a gun, there's a section that asks whether you are a user of marijuana.

It reads:

Answering yes will trigger an immediate rejection.


First Ohio medical marijuana dispensary gets certificate of operation

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Board of Pharmacy, one of the regulators in the state’s nascent medical marijuana program, has cleared a Jefferson County business to open as a dispensary, the state announced Wednesday afternoon.

CY+, located at 180 Main Street, Wintersville, is the first among dozens of businesses that have received provisional dispensary licenses from the state. Wintersville is located in eastern Ohio, just outside Steubenville.


After one week, the number of medical marijuana cards in Ohio is over 1,000

On Monday the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy announced the number of people in the state who received an activated medical marijuana card after opening up the patient and caregiver registry.

After accepting patient registrations for one week, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program totaled 1,948 recommendations in the registry, which is an online portal where physicians with a certificate to recommend medical marijuana can register patients and caregivers.


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