Marijuana products for Ohioans with a medical need were supposed to be on dispensary shelves in less than a month. Though that deadline won’t be met, state officials say the new program remains on track, just moving slower than outlined in the law Gov. John Kasich signed in June 2016.
The program authorizes use by patients with 21 conditions, including cancer or chronic pain, in the form of edibles, oils, patches and vaporizing. Patients and their caregivers will be allowed to possess up to a 90-day supply. Smoking or home growing it is barred.
Here’s where key parts of Ohio’s medical marijuana program stand:
Few growers inspected: Just three of 26 licensed growers have received their operations certificates from the state, while five more have inspections scheduled this month.
Processor applications await checks: Only seven processors have been licensed, while six more licenses are awaiting background and tax compliance checks. The state expects to license up to 40 processors.
Dispensaries given licenses: In June, pharmacy officials announced 56 dispensary licenses where medical marijuana would be sold, but it’s unclear when and how much product will be on shelves for patients.
Area university could house testing lab: State regulators in June issued provisional licenses to Central State University and Hocking Technical College to set up medical marijuana testing labs. The two were the only public institutions to apply for testing lab licenses. Seven private companies have also applied for testing licenses.
Doctors continue to be certified: As of this week, 222 physicians are now approved by the state medical board to recommend marijuana for patients.
Patient registry on hold: The Ohio Board of Pharmacy has yet to open an online patient registry.
Medical conditions could be added: A panel of experts is being assembled to review petitions to add more medical conditions that would qualify for using marijuana. Petitions will be accepted Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, according to the State Medical Board of Ohio. The full medical board will decide which conditions are added.