Proposed rules were published yesterday governing both dispensaries and physicians operating in the emerging medical marijuana program in Ohio. Both sets of proposed rules are available online. Members of the public are invited to review and comment on them before January 13, 2017.
Most of the proposed rules are sensible, but there is room for improvement. One area of concern is the state’s initial proposal to limit the total number of dispensaries to 40. Given the state’s population and the likely size of the program, such a low number could create significant access problems for patients.
In addition to the newly proposed rules, the state also published a revision to its cultivation rules, available here. While still short of ideal, the state made several major improvements, including doubling the number of smaller, Level II licenses, increasing the square footage limits for all cultivators, and lowering the financial burden.
On July 29, D.C. Mayor Vince Gray signed the Medical Marijuana Expansion Emergency Amendment Act of 2014. The ordinance takes effect immediately, but it is only temporary, so another measure and Congressional approval are needed to make the compassionate changes permanent.
This temporary law allows physicians to recommend marijuana for any debilitating condition they think would respond favorably to the therapeutic use of marijuana and increases the number of plants D.C.’s licensed cultivators may possess from 95 to 500. This new law will automatically expire on October 27 unless the Council makes passes new legislation.
D.C. physicians participating in the medical marijuana program may now recommend medical marijuana to those suffering from PTSD, chronic pain, and a host of other conditions that were not previously included on a list of qualifying conditions, but whose symptoms have been shown to relent with marijuana use. Increasing the number of plants that cultivators may possess ensures that our seriously ill friends and neighbors have access to the medicine their physicians think will work best for them.
Enactment of temporary legislation gave the Council the time it needs to debate and pass a permanent fix. If you are a District resident, please ask your councilmember to continue to support compassionate legislation and then send this to our fellow Washingtonians who support medical marijuana.
The New York Legislature adjourned its regular session early Saturday morning without passing two important marijuana policy reform bills. Both bills passed the Assembly, but ultimately stalled in the Senate: a bill legalizing medical marijuana for seriously ill patients and a bill that would have fixed the "public view" loophole in New York's decriminalization law.
The Senate also failed to vote on legislation to fix the public view exception to New York’s decriminalization law. A6716would have eliminated the false justification police are using to make tens of thousands of marijuana arrests each year.
On Tuesday, a group of doctors held a news conference to announce the support of nearly 250 Illinois physicians for allowing patients with serious illnesses to obtain and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.
Specifically, the doctors signed on to the following statement:
Licensed medical practitioners should not be punished for recommending the medical use of marijuana to seriously ill people, and seriously ill people should not be subject to criminal sanctions for using marijuana if their medical professionals have told them that such use is likely to be beneficial.
Their endorsement comes just as the Illinois House of Representatives prepares to vote on House Bill 1, which would allow patients with serious illnesses to use medical marijuana with recommendations from their physicians.
The bill would also establish a network of state-regulated cultivation centers and dispensaries to provide marijuana to qualified patients.
If passed, Illinois would become the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana.