Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has proposed a significant change to the state’s medical cannabis program, which would shift regulatory responsibilities away from the Board of Pharmacy. Under the governor’s executive budget plan, the Board of Pharmacy would no longer oversee the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries, with some of its responsibilities transferring to the Department of Commerce.
The proposed consolidation is intended to improve efficiency, as the Department of Commerce already possesses a significant portion of the staff and expertise necessary to oversee the state’s medical cannabis program. However, the Board of Pharmacy would still be responsible for reviewing and adding qualifying conditions to the program.
Currently, Ohio’s medical cannabis program is regulated by three separate agencies: the Board of Pharmacy, the Department of Commerce, and State Medical Board. This proposed change would move towards a more streamlined regulatory system, with the goal of improving the overall effectiveness of the program.
Industry leaders, such as the Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association, have expressed support for the proposed consolidation. Matt Close, the executive director of the association, has stated that the current regulatory scheme is convoluted and that the organization is in favor of a streamlined approach that makes sense.
The governor’s budget proposal will require approval from state lawmakers before it can be implemented. State Representative Jay Edwards, the Ohio House Finance Committee chair, has expressed confidence that the governor’s request will be included in the budget passed by the committee. Edwards also met with a top official from the Board of Pharmacy, who did not object to the proposed change.
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