Columbus (OH) Dispatch: Questions up in the air about medical marijuana law

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From the June 10, 2016 online edition of the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch:

Questions Up In The Air About Medical Marijuana Law

By Alan Johnson
The Columbus Dispatch • Friday June 10, 2016 6:54 AM

Ohio’s new medical marijuana law is on the books, but many questions are unanswered.

When it will be available? What edible forms of marijuana will be allowed? And how much it will cost taxpayers to run the program?

The law spells out how marijuana can and cannot be used, but huge gaps must by filled with a flurry of rule-making by three different state agencies and an advisory committee over the next 18 months to two years. The law — all 86 pages of it — sets up the framework, but few specifics.

Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 523 on Wednesday, establishing a highly regulated “seed-to-sale” system for growing, processing, testing and dispensing marijuana for people with any of 20 specified medical diseases and conditions. It will not be available for recreational use. When the law takes effect in 90 days, Ohio will be the 25th state, plus the District of Columbia, to allow medical marijuana.

Patients will be able to get a prescription from a physician for a 90-day supply of marijuana edibles, patches, oils, tinctures and plant material. Vaporizing marijuana will be permitted, but smoking will not. Home growing will not be allowed.

There is no estimate of how much money the state will get from marijuana sales tax at the consumer level. Likewise, there are scant details about the state’s cost of running the program, or what kind of edibles will be available, except to say they cannot be in a candy-like form attractive to young children.

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