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Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee Releases Draft Rules


The Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee (MMAC) held its first meeting on Nov. 1 to discuss the implementation of the medical marijuana program established in HB 523 (Rep. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City), which was passed earlier this year. HB 523 provided the framework for the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program and created the MMAC to develop the rules for growers, processors and testing labs. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy will oversee the dispensaries, while the Ohio State Medical Board will regulate the physicians who recommend medical marijuana for patients who have certain medical conditions, as required in HB 523. Pharmacist Curtis Passafume Jr., chairman of the MMAC and a member of the Board of Pharmacy, presided over the MMAC’s first meeting, where the committee heard from the Director of Commerce Jacqueline Williams, Ohio Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Steve Schierholt, Ohio State Medical Board Executive Director Anthony Groeber and Missy Craddock from the governor’s office. Each agency provided an overview of its expertise and its responsibilities as set forth in the new law. In addition, Missy Craddock discussed the responsibility she will have in coordinating the three agencies, and outlined the governor’s priorities for the program: 1) to be patient-centered and safe, 2) to be data-driven and transparent, 3) to be flexible and sustainable and 4) consistency, integrity and collaboration. As required by the law, the first order of business for the MMAC is to develop rules for medical marijuana cultivators, which must be adopted by May 8, 2017. The draft rules are open for public comment through the Ohio Department of Commerce until Nov. 15. Following is a brief overview of the cultivator rules:

  • Permits up to 18 grow sites
  • 12 “Level I” cultivators permitted up to 15,000 square feet for growing space, and a license fee of $180,000 plus a $20,000 application fee, with a $200,000 annual renewal fee
  • Six “Level II” cultivators permitted to up to 1,600 square feet of growing space with a license fee of $18,000 and a $2,000 application fee, and an annual renewal fee of $20,000
  • Safety and quality control requirements
  • Employees will be required to have state issued IDs
  • Cultivator is required to demonstrate the financial capability to operate a facility
  • Pass a state inspection
  • Ability to begin growing within nine months of being granted a provisional license
  • Provides flexibility for the director of commerce to authorize additional licenses beginning in November 2018 if there is a demand
Click here for a link to the full proposed cultivator rules and instructions for public comment as posted on the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program website. Rules for the rest of the program must be finalized by Sept. 8, 2017. We will update you as additional draft rules become available.

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