Thanks to Lobbyist Kim for this update on the marijuana dealings in Ohio.
I keep up on certain issues through legal mailings and such and wanted to share this recent one regarding medical marijuana in Ohio. I attached the CBD oil fact sheet from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
The Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee met on September 13, 2018. The Committee was not provided with any information as to when the program will become fully operational, let alone partially operational.
Mark Hamlin of the Ohio Department of Commerce addressed the Committee first. Twenty-six companies received provisional cultivator licenses, with six certificates of operation being granted thus far. A cultivator cannot begin growing until it receives a certificate of operation. That is acceptable because there are only four laboratories that received provisional licenses. The laboratories cannot begin testing the cultivated plant until they receive a certificate of operation. Even if the laboratories could begin testing, there are no processors licensed to turn the plant into a product that could be sold at a dispensary. Eleven provisional processor licenses have been granted, with up to twenty-nine more to be awarded. However, no certificates of operation have been issued.
Erin Reed from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy addressed the Committee next. Even if there was product to be sold at a dispensary, there are no dispensaries approved to sell medical marijuana. Fifty-six provisional dispensary licenses have been issued, with no certificates of operation issued. A certificate of operation is necessary to sell marijuana for medicinal reasons.
AJ Groeber from the State Medical Board of Ohio addressed the Committee last. The Medical Board is ahead of the curve, and have certified almost three hundred physicians to recommend the use of medical marijuana to patients. Physicians were ready to be fully operational on September 8, 2018. The Medical Board estimates a physician can see up to twenty medical marijuana patients each day. However, any physician who wants to recommend medical marijuana is unable to do so at this time.
Once a physician determines it is appropriate to recommend medical marijuana to a patient, they must began the process of registering the patient- and perhaps the patient’s caregivers- with the computer system operated by the Oho Board of Pharmacy. The Board chose not to activate the computer system at this time, because there is no medicine to dispense.
Other items discussed at the meeting included the Pharmacy Board’s recent declaration about CBD. The Board’s stated reason for publishing their interpretation of the law? Pharmacists were contacting the Board to see if it was acceptable to carry and sell CBD’s. Many disagree with the Pharmacy Board’s interpretation. There have been no formal challenges to the Board’s interpretation. It is also this author’s understanding that the Board has yet to file criminal charges against a company that is carrying and selling CBD’s.