At least five shops are now approved to open, with more on the way
Ohio has now approved five dispensaries to begin serving patients, with most announcing they are opening for the first time today, January 16. This is the final major milestone for a program first adopted by lawmakers in 2016, and a relief to those patients who can now get access.
According to the state's website, CY+ and Ohio Valley Natural Relief LLC are opening in Wintersville. There are two shops owned by The Botanist, one in Canton and one in Wickliffe included in the approval list, along with The Forest Sandusky in Sandusky, Ohio. The state's recently updated list is available online here. Many additional dispensaries are expected soon.
While Ohio has one of the most carefully regulated programs in the country, it hasn't been without challenges. Confusion over patient protections since the law was adopted continued throughout the process, and the high regulatory hurdle the state set for operators took longer to implement than many expected – with the state missing its final deadline last September. The program's launch is a relief.
We wish to thank the many supporters who contributed to the bill's passage and adoption following our voter initiative. MPP is pleased that the voter initiative we initiated in 2014 jump-started a serious effort in the legislature to pass such a measure, with today's sales being the final result. Thanks everyone!
Please forward this message to friends, family, and supporters. The big day has finally arrived Ohio!
MPP applauds the hard work that went into giving local residents the chance to have a say, and congratulates Bellaire, Logan, Newark, and Roseville for moving marijuana policy forward. Great work!
Late last week, the Ohio Ballot Board certified an initiative that would establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio. The five-member board reviews proposed ballot measures to ensure they represent only one issue.
Ohioans for Medical Marijuana must now collect 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. Last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine confirmed the group submitted at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters and determined their initiative summary “is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed law.”
The summary and full text of the initiative are available online at https://www.ohioansformmj.org/initiative.
Signature gathering for the initiative has already begun. Please contact Ohioans for Medical Marijuana if you would like to get involved.
Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, a campaign committee formed by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), posted the full initiative text, the official initiative summary, and a Q&A with MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia on its website Tuesday morning.
The initiative text, summary, and Q&A are available at https://www.ohioansformmj.org/initiative.
In summary, the initiative would:
- allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it and protect them from arrest, prosecution, or discrimination with regard to housing, health care (such as organ transplants), and child custody.
- permit qualifying patients to grow a limited amount of marijuana for their medical use, designate a caregiver to grow it for them, or purchase medical marijuana from licensed and well-regulated dispensaries;
- maintain commonsense restrictions on the medical use of marijuana, such as prohibitions on public marijuana use and driving under the influence of marijuana; and
- establish a Medical Marijuana Control Division to oversee a tightly controlled system of licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation facilities, distributors, processing facilities, and testing facilities.
Initiative backers plan to submit the initiative to state officials later this week. They will need to collect at least 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July to qualify the measure for the November ballot.
Three out of four Ohio voters (74%) support amending the state constitution to make medical marijuana legal for patients with terminal or debilitating conditions, according to statewide survey conducted in February by Public Policy Polling. Only 22% said they are opposed. The full results are available at http://bit.ly/1Vt3vdA.
On Wednesday, Ohio’s secretary of state certified ResponsibleOhio’s proposed constitutional amendment to appear on the ballot this November.
The proposal would legalize marijuana in Ohio, making it the first state to do so without first having a medical marijuana program. It would also be the first state east of the Mississippi to replace marijuana prohibition with regulation.
If approved by the voters, the proposal would:
-- amend the Ohio Constitution to allow marijuana to be taxed, regulated, and sold in stores,
-- allow commercial cannabis to be grown by just 10 farms, with the parcels specified in the measure,
-- allow no more than one marijuana store for every 10,000 Ohioans (about 1,160),
-- allow adults 21 and older to buy and possess up to an ounce of marijuana,
-- allow adults to cultivate up to four flowering plants and possess eight ounces of harvested cannabis if they purchase a $50 license, and
-- establish a medical marijuana program.
Ohioans will be voting on the proposed constitutional amendment on Tuesday, November 3. They will also consider the Ohio Initiated Monopolies measure — Issue 2 — which the legislature placed on the ballot in response to the marijuana initiative. That measure requires two separate votes to enact a measure that establishes a monopoly or oligopoly. It could invalidate the marijuana initiative if both are enacted.