COLUMBUS — Ohio could still be a year and a half away from having its medical marijuana program up and running, prompting some to urge state regulators to speed up the writing of the rules under which the program will operate.
“It’s sort of the drudgery of state government. We have to let the process play out,” said Aaron Marshall, spokesman for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. “As much as we’d like to push the pace, there doesn’t seem to be a desire among state regulators to do so. So we wait, and wait, and wait.”
As of Sept. 8, 2016, Ohio has legalized cannabis for medical use only. But patients are forbidden from growing their own, and it could be as late as Sept. 8, 2018, before the first cannabis oil, edible pot, patch, tincture, plant matter, or vapor may be sold at a licensed retail dispensary.
In the meantime, signs have popped up in the Toledo area advertising Ohio Medical “Marajuana” Cards that are legally suspect given cards can only be issued by the state of Ohio.
“Those cards are probably not worth the paper they’re printed on,” Mr. Marshall said. “It’s unfortunate, but not totally unexpected, to see people moving in to take advantage of this legal gray area in Ohio right now.”
The Department of Commerce has submitted its proposed rules for cannabis growers to the Common Sense Initiative, which is reviewing how they might affect business.
Those rules face the earliest of the deadlines for final approval — May 6 — so that they could be in place in time to have raw plant material ready to provide to labs for testing and for processors to produce the products to be sold when the program becomes fully operational no later than Sept. 8,