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Delays continue for Ohio’s medical cannabis program

Medical cannabis patients in Ohio do not have access to the online patient registration portal, despite the fact that it was due to go live this month

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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The tension is rising in the Buckeye State, as medical cannabis patients impatiently wait for the drug to be made available under the Ohio medical cannabis program.

Medical cannabis dispensaries were gearing up to start selling edibles, tinctures, creams and other medicinal cannabis-based treatments by September 8. It was on this date that state law affirmed its medical cannabis program would be “fully operational.” However, officials have revealed that Ohio cannabis will be delayed further.

Now, cannabis cultivators are wondering when their products will be sold inside medical cannabis dispensaries, while patients wonder when they will be able to get their hands on cannabis-based products.

Delays for the Ohio medical cannabis program were indicated after a state advisory board met with the Medical Marijuana Control Program on Thursday, July 19. Since everything has been prepared, such as testing laboratories, cannabis cultivators, and physicians, you may be wondering why Ohio cannabis is not yet available.

According to senior policy adviser for the Department of Commerce, Mark Hamlin, processors are awaiting licenses to transform the cannabis plant into cannabis-based medicinal products, including topicals, oils, tinctures and dose-controlled edibles.

A total of 104 applicants have been on “standby” since the applications were initially supposed to be reviewed in spring

Rejected applicants will be given a second chance

Hamlin says that the Ohio medical cannabis program is delayed due to problems encountered when scoring applicants and providing cannabis cultivators with licenses. Less than 40 out of 104 applicants were approved, while the others will be invited to apply for a processor license.

“Our understanding of the industry and our expectation is that there will be opportunity for some of those processors to be up and running at the point when plant material is ready,” said Hamlin.

According to officials, just two cannabis cultivators have been awarded licenses to engage in cannabis-focused agriculture.

Patient registration portal is not active online yet

Medical cannabis patients in Ohio do not have access to the online patient registration portal, despite the fact that it was due to go live this month. However, state law has prevented this from happening.

Bob Bridges is a patient representative on the committee. He drew attention to the delay with the Ohio medical cannabis program online patient portal, which would allow patents to receive a medical cannabis recommendation letter with 60-day validity. After being questioned by Bridges about why the online patient registry could not be launched ahead of the product inauguration date, the senior legal counsel for Ohio state pharmacy board, Erin Rees, said the portal is ready. However, it will go live nearer the product launch date, so as to ensure patients are shielded by the law.

“We are trying to time it right to make sure we don’t do it more than 60 days before products are available on dispensary shelves,” explained Reed.

Doctor-recommended patients will be given an e-card and their online registration can be printed or electronically scanned. Photographic identification is necessary for Ohio’s patient registration portal.

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Delays continue for Ohio’s medical cannabis program