Ohio Board Cancels Plan To Announce Locations Of Medical Marijuana Stores

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State officials have canceled a Wednesday meeting to announce where dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries will be located across Ohio.

The Board of Pharmacy was expected to name up to 56 dispensary licensees in 28 geographic districts.

The state received 376 dispensary applications.

The meeting was postponed to give more time to gather some required information on applicants. The site announcement is now expected to be next month.

Dispensaries will be allowed to sell medical marijuana to qualifying, registered patients who have received recommendations from licensed physicians who the state has approved. The Board of Pharmacy expects to launch its patient registry in July.

(For a full list of applications, go here.)

State rules indicate Southwest Ohio would get 15 medical marijuana dispensaries, including up to three in Montgomery County.

Two districts — and possibly a third — will not have dispensaries licensed in this round because there were either no applicants or no qualified applicants, a Board of Pharmacy spokesman said. The two without applicants include Miami, Shelby, Logan, Paulding, Van Wert and Mercer counties in western Ohio.

In November 2015, Ohio voters rejected a ballot issue calling for legalization of medical and recreational marijuana. But strong public support for medical marijuana as well as the threat of another ballot issue prompted lawmakers to craft a legal medical marijuana law in 2016.

In June 2016, Kasich signed a bill into law that authorizes use by patients with 21 conditions, including cancer or chronic pain, in the form of edibles, oils, patches and vaporizing. Patients and their caregivers will be allowed to possess up to a 90 day supply. Smoking or home growing it is barred.

In 2017 and this year, regulators with the Medical Marijuana Control Program have been writing rules for growers, processors, testing labs, dispensaries, patients and caregivers as well as reviewing and scoring applications for licenses. It is expected to be fully operational by September 2018.