Benjamin Krutko works in the social services sector.Benjamin Krutko
LAKEWOOD — Citizens in Ohio are entitled and permitted to cultivate various plants and flowers that are toxic and even deadly; digitalis; larkspur; and belladonna. But cannabis, with no overdose fatalities on record, remains illegal for individuals to cultivate in the privacy of their property.
For this reason and several others, the proposed regulatory standards for medical cannabis released by the State Medical Board and Board of Pharmacy are a good idea executed poorly. The proposed rules restrict individuals, businesses, and patients.
Decriminalization and regulation are not a one-size-fits-all process. Ohio is not Colorado — but it deprives itself, in the face of declining state revenues, of the more than $1 billion that state has made through cannabis sales.
Ohio’s standards were passed into law by a body that had no interest in taking up decriminalization or examining with any rigor the legal standards of other states in relation to taxes, individual use, and cultivation.
The goal here is to make the process from cultivation to sale onerous, expensive, time-consuming, and difficult.
The limited criteria granted by Ohio’s proposed regulations mean someone who moves from another state could lose access to medication. The current standard says that Ohio’s rules are to go into effect in September 2018 with no deadline for intrastate reciprocity. This is unnecessary, as the proposed regulations could have been drafted to grant reciprocity immediately rather than leave patients and caregivers waiting for final approval from the state. This change would prevent legitimate medical users from facing criminal charges and encourage them to use legal networks for current access.
The proposed liquidity requirements of $250,000 plus licensing fees and the cost of Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation background checks create a