Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who recently dropped out of the presidential bid, on Wednesday afternoon signed a bill that permits the medical use of marijuana in the state a few hours after the proposal reached his desk.
In 18-15 and 67-28 votes in the Senate and in the House respectively, the bill passed the General Assembly a few weeks prior. The new law will take effect in 90 days.
The law allows the growing, testing, and dispensing of the drug for the sole purpose of treating 20 medical conditions. Smoking and home-growing are however prohibited.
Only specific patients will be prescribed by a licensed physician to use marijuana edibles, oils, tinctures, and/or vapors starting next year. Particularly, Kasich elaborated that he wants children with severe medical conditions to have a coveted access to marijuana, which is an effective treatment for a number of diseases.
The Ohio Medical Board, Ohio Pharmacy Board, and Department of Commerce will oversee the regulated medical marijuana system by providing the legislative a set of guidelines governing the regulation. Moreover, the law requires the formation of a 12-member commission that will be responsible of advising state agencies.
Sen. Dave Burke (R-Marysville) anticipated that the selected cannabis growers can already cultivate marijuana in the state within just a year. Consequently, marijuana products will be available in less than two years, which is in line with the mandates of the law.
A recent poll revealed that 90% of Ohio citizens support the legalization of medical marijuana. Previously, the Ohioans for Medical Marijuana group initiated a petition for marijuana legalization to make it to the November ballot. However, due to lack of resources, the petition did not push through following the approval of the bill in the General Assembly last May.
Aaron Marshall, Ohioans for Medical Marijuana spokesperson, said that this marks a significant milestone in enabling the citizens to have a safe, much-needed, and efficient access to the drug. Marshall added that there is so much to look forward to as the state further works on the law.
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