Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio
State regulators working to meet the Saturday, September 8, deadline to set up Ohio’s medical marijuana program now say there won’t be any products available to patients by that time (Source: “Ohio Won’t Have Any Medical Marijuana on Shelves by September 8 Deadline,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 5, 2018).
Mark Hamlin, senior policy advisor to the Ohio Department of Commerce, said that the date by which marijuana plants needed to be in the ground in order to meet the deadline has passed. Plants can take 12 to 16 weeks to grow and none of the 25 provisional grow licensees have been approved to start growing.
Ohio passed its medical marijuana law in May 2016, but left the details up to three state agencies, including the Ohio Department of Commerce. The agencies spent several months drafting rules and accepted applications for growers, processors, testing labs, and dispensaries late last year.
The law set Saturday, September 8, two years from its effective date, as a deadline for the program to be “fully operational.” By that time, legislators envisioned, patients with one of 21 qualifying medical conditions would be able to buy and use medical marijuana after registering through a physician who is certified to recommend cannabis in Ohio.