Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Program Couch-Locked By Bureaucracy And Politics

Two years after medical hashish was legalized in September 2016, Ohio’s program has been affected by courtroom battles, disputes over miscounted cultivator licenses, clerical errors and auditing flaws.

Applicants hoping to open dispensaries should bide their time whereas the Ohio Pharmacy Board postpones licensing for medical hashish dispensaries, however sufferers and caregivers say delays might be lethal.

Nicole Scholten’s 14-year-old daughter, Lucy, has epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

“I wish I could say I was shocked,” Scholten informed Marijuana.com. “We’ve got children, like Lucy, who don’t respond to traditional drugs and we know medical cannabis can help their seizures.”

Scholten is the director of Ohio Family Cann, a statewide advocacy group for households of youngsters with catastrophic life-limiting issues.

“We’ve studied, we’ve done our due diligence, and some families from our group have even moved to Colorado. We know what we need for our children,” stated Scholten, previously a schoolteacher in Cincinnati and now a full-time caregiver to Lucy.

Robert Ryan, Executive Director of Ohio Patients Network, referred to as the delay one other instance of how the present administration doesn’t help the state’s medical hashish program.

“From the beginning, the Pharmacy Board conjured up a complicated set of regulations for medical marijuana. They act like they’re handling plutonium,” Ryan, a retired aerospace engineer, informed Marijuana.com. “They didn’t design a viable program because they have no interest in making it work. There’s been official obstruction every step of the way.”

Ohio Pharmacy Board spokesperson Cameron McNamee informed Marijuana.com that the choice to postpone “was due to some unexpected delays in information required to validate an applicant meets the minimum license qualifications, background checks, 500-foot rule, etc.”

McNamee clarified that the delay had nothing to do with earlier controversies which have brought on quite a few setbacks.

On a number of events through the previous six months, the Ohio Auditor’s workplace uncovered errors in how regulators scored purposes for hashish develop licenses.  

Although the Department of Commerce, which oversees hashish cultivators, processors and testing labs, acknowledged the discrepancies, lawsuits abound.

The Commerce Department contracted Ernst & Young to undertake an unbiased evaluation, validate all scores and defend it in pending courtroom battles, in addition to the 67 administrative appeals from unsuccessful candidates.  

Ohio judges just lately dismissed a number of lawsuits and a request from some lawmakers to start out over from scratch.

McNamee stated the Pharmacy Board will launch the ultimate listing of dispensaries in June 2018.


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