Ohio becomes 25th state to legalize medical marijuana

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on June 14, 2016.

Soon after the Republican Governor John Kasich signed the House Bill 523 into law last week for legalizing the marijuana substance for patients with specific medical conditions, Ohio became the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana. Half of the states in the USA and Washington, D.C will now allow their residents to use medical marijuana.

Since the law will take effect in 90 days, patients can go to nearby states like Michigan and Pennsylvania that already allow for medical marijuana, legally obtain pot, and take it back across state lines. The law is expected to be fully operational in about two years when Ohio would set up its own state-run or licensed system to cultivate, test, and dispense medical marijuana.

The legislation allows patients to use marijuana in vapor form for certain chronic health conditions, but prohibits them from smoking marijuana or growing it at home.

The health conditions to qualify for medical marijuana includes Cancer; Hepatitis C; Alzheimer's disease; HIV/AIDS; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); Crohn's disease; fibromyalgia; glaucoma; inflammatory bowel disease; epilepsy or another seizure disorder; multiple sclerosis; pain that is chronic, severe, and intractable; Parkinson's disease; post traumatic stress disorder; sickle cell anemia; spinal cord disease or injury; Tourette's syndrome; traumatic brain injury; and ulcerative colitis. However, people can petition the state medical board to add the medical conditions.

The Ohio Department of Commerce, State Medical Board and Board of Pharmacy will all play a key role in the marijuana program. The Commerce Department will oversee licensing of marijuana cultivators, processors and testing labs while the Pharmacy Board will license dispensaries and register patients and their caregivers, and set up a hotline to take questions from patients and caregivers. And, the Medical Board would issue certificates to physicians seeking to recommend treatment with medical marijuana.

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