OH Lawmakers Weigh Medical Cannabis Expansion

Legislators in Ohio Consider Medical Cannabis Expansions

Ohio lawmakers are presently contemplating a proposal to make medical cannabis available to individuals whose ailments “that the patient’s symptoms may reasonably be expected to be relieved from medical marijuana.”

Twenty-five medical diseases, including AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, and others, are currently recognized by the state as qualifying for medical cannabis treatment. 

Patients in Ohio are frustrated because the state’s medical board has repeatedly denied their requests to add diseases like autism spectrum disorder to the list of those covered by Medicaid.

On the other hand, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is planning to put a measure to legalize cannabis for adults in Ohio to a vote of the people in the state in the November 2023 election.

They collected enough signatures to force lawmakers to consider their legalization proposal early in the new year. If the reforms are not adopted, as is anticipated, proponents will have four weeks to collect enough signatures to put the matter before voters at the upcoming November election.

The campaign has raised $212,500 this year, according to the group’s July campaign finance report, with $150,000 coming from the Marijuana Policy Project, a cannabis advocacy organization, and the remainder cash being provided by multiple Ohio-based medical cannabis entrepreneurs. Advocates generated $1.3 million through fundraising efforts last year.

Additionally, the regulatory framework of marijuana would be altered by Ohio Senate Bill 261, which would create a new department under the Ohio Department of Commerce known as the Division of Marijuana Control.

The measure would result in more dispensaries opening up around the state. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy is now trying to license an additional 70 stores, bringing the total number of licensed pharmacies in the state to 55.

The law would also raise the ceiling on the amount of THC, the active element in marijuana, from 70% to 90% and increase the amount of growable space for marijuana.

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