Will Ohio Medical Marijuana Make Deadline? What Could Delay September Start

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Driving to Columbus Friday was not something Nicole Scholten of Northside looked forward to.

“I’m not going to say it was easy at all to get there,” Scholten said.

Scholten, whose daughter, Lucy, has drug-resistant epilepsy, made the two-hour drive to testify on behalf of medical marijuana advocates.

A Franklin County judge is deciding whether Ohio’s Commerce Department wrongly denied a cannabis company a permit to grow pot on an industrial scale.

A ruling in favor of the company could delay the launch of the state’s medical marijuana program, which is required by law to be operational in September.

“I don’t get a feeling that anyone feels that this is an urgent need for me and families like mine,” Scholten said.

She believes medical pot will help her daughter deal with debilitating seizures and muscle spasms more effectively than the drug cocktails she currently takes.

“We don’t want to take these harmful, addictive, sometimes deadly benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opiates, for our life-limiting condition,” Scholten said. “Help us.”

While Scholten fears a delay in the start of Ohio’s medical marijuana program, E.R. Beach is more confident.

“I do believe they’ll be up and operating,” said Beach, who owns Hemptations.

Beach said the rollout may be smaller than anticipated, but he thinks some medical pot products will soon be available because state leaders don’t want to get sued by patients who’ve been waiting patiently.

“They don’t want to murk it up any worse than they’ve already done,” Beach said.

WLWT investigator Todd Dykes spoke to a medical marijuana insider Tuesday, who said initial supplies of pot may be limited, but added that that’s not unusual in states that have legalized cannabis.

But there is another potential pitfall. No licenses or locations have been announced for medical marijuana dispensaries.

That means even if manufacturers have medical marijuana to sell by September, no stores in Ohio are licensed to sell it.