New regulations hit the publications in Ohio on Thursday legalizing medical marijuana, raising a host of concerns for consumers, business owners and also doctors over the region.
So what changes this week?
“Not much,” stated Douglas Berman, a professor at The Ohio State University who teaches a marijuana law class.
“People who are eager to think that now a whole lot more stuff is going to be legal throughout Ohio should take cautiously,” Berman said. “This medication is still federally against the law, and someone who considers they can drive up in order to Michigan and buy too much medical marijuana and start selling it Ohio : they’re probably going to get the feds’ consideration.”
While Ohio’s law can establish an “affirmative defense” that goes into place Thursday regarding patients who have a qualifying medical condition as well as written permission from other doctor, rules still haven’t been written with regard to where medical weed can be legally produced and purchased in the state.
“The important thing to remember is (affirmative defense) doesn’t imply you can’t be prosecuted,” Berman said. “It just means should you be, this is the defense you can use in court to ask a judge to dismiss the complaint. It doesn’t mean you avoid the need the courts.”
Underneath the law, Ohio’s new medical cannabis program will be created through nearly 2 yrs of rule making by various state departments that will establish who can grow your drug, process that, test it and sell that to consumers.
In case all goes since planned, lawmakers say the full program must be up and running by 2018.