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Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program is Starting to Take Shape

Published: Feb 27, 2017 by John Izzo

On February 17, 2017, the Ohio Department of Commerce filed the proposed cultivator rules with the Joint Committee on Rule Review. There will be a public hearing to address these rules on March 20, 2017, at the State Fire Marshal’s Office, 8895 E. Main Street, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068. Beginning at noon, any party affected by the proposed rules will have the opportunity to appear in person or present their concerns in writing.

On February 23, 2017, the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee met to discuss the proposed Form and Method of Administration rules, as well as the proposed Testing Laboratory rules. Presentations were given by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy and the Ohio Department of Commerce, respectively.

The proposed Form and Method rules mostly addressed what a 90 day supply of medical marijuana is. Ohio appears to be the only state that will make this determination based upon the amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in the supply, and not solely on the weight of the product. Approved methods of administering medical marijuana include: oil, tincture, capsule, tablet, or edible form for oral administration; metered oil or solid preparation for vaporization; patches for transdermal administration; and plant material for administration with the use of vaporizing devices. Persons seeking to add a form or method of administration to the approved list can submit a written petition to the Board of Pharmacy. The Board of Pharmacy will charge a $100.00 fee for each dose of each medical marijuana strain and medical marijuana product. There was a gasp from the audience when the fee was announced.

The proposed Testing Laboratory rules call for provisional licenses to laboratories affiliated with institutions of higher learning no later than September 8, 2017. Provisional licenses can be issued to private laboratories one year after that. Testing will be conducted at intermediate points in the manufacturing process. The laboratory application fee is $2,000.00 with another $18,000.00 due if a license is granted.

The Board of Pharmacy and Department of Commerce will take public comments about these proposed rules until March 10, 2017. These comments, and any changes as a result of the comments, will likely be addressed by the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee at its March 2017 meeting.

If you have any questions about the Medical Marijuana Control Program, including the application and licensing process or how to comment on the proposed rules, you should consider contacting an attorney at Graff & McGovern. John Izzo of Graff & McGovern can be reached at 614-228-5800, extension 5.