Ohio Senate Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana For Any Patient Who Can ‘Reasonably Be Expected’ To Benefit

MJ moment

A new bill seeks to expand and streamline Ohio’s medical cannabis program as other lawmakers pursue adult-use legalization.  By Nick Evans, Ohio Capital Journal Ohio senators have filed legislation that represents a broad revision of the state’s medical marijuana system. Among the changes is language expanding access to the drug if a physician “reasonably” believes their patient’s symptoms would be relieved or they would otherwise benefit from marijuana. It’s a potentially massive expansion of eligibility for patients after years of piecemeal additions to the list of qualifying conditions. But for the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Steve Huffman, (R), a streamlined regulatory structure is the measure’s primary aim. “The biggest example is the Department of Pharmacy regulates dispensaries, and the Department of Commerce regulates cultivators,” Huffman described. “So if you own one of each you have to go to each one to make business decisions.” He notes the Department of Pharmacy will still manage a database of prescriptions through the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System, or OARRS, but most oversight will fall under the purview of a new Division of Marijuana Control housed in the Commerce Department. Huffman also believes the measure will encourage the department to offer more licenses as the market grows and put pressure on license holders to bring product to market rapidly. Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D) has signed on as cosponsor of the bill. It doesn’t cover everything on his wish list—he notes it lacks employment protections for people prescribed the drug—but he sees it as an important step forward. “I know the need. I know what we did in 2016 was just the smallest of fractions of what was needed here in Ohio,” Yuko said. “What this bill does is trying to move us in the right direction. Is it all inclusive? Not even close.…

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Source : Ohio Senate Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana For Any Patient Who Can ‘Reasonably Be Expected’ To Benefit

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