West Virginia Becomes the 29th Medical Marijuana State

Today, West Virginia officially became the 29th state to pass medical marijuana legislation!

Gov. Jim Justice signed the law today after the bipartisan bill passed both the Senate and House earlier this month.

While the law isn’t perfect, it’s a great start toward providing safe and legal access to medical marijuana for qualifying patients. A summary is available here.

This achievement didn’t happen overnight. In fact, MPP, along with many other advocates, has been working tirelessly to get a medical marijuana bill passed for…

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Testing rule worries Ohio medical marijuana advocates

Medical marijuana advocates in Ohio are concerned a little-known rule that stipulates who can test cannabis products could delay the launch of the program.

Under the state’s MMJ law, private laboratories will not be allowed to test medical cannabis for the first year of the program, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Instead, the state’s public universities will be responsible for testing.


Spring 2017 MJBizCon
However, universities may decline to test medical marijuana products because cannabis remains…

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Proposed Ohio Medical Marijuana Regulations Released

Proposed rules were published yesterday governing both dispensaries and physicians operating in the emerging medical marijuana program in Ohio. Both sets of proposed rules are available online. Members of the public are invited to review and comment on them before January 13, 2017.flag_of_ohio-svg

Most of the proposed rules are sensible, but there is room for improvement. One area of concern is the state’s initial proposal to limit the total number of dispensaries to 40. Given the state’s population and the likely size of the program, such a low…

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Ohio’s draft medical cannabis rules call for up to 40 dispensaries

Ohio would have up to 40 dispensaries under draft regulations for its medical marijuana industry released Thursday.

The proposed rules, drafted by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, would require prospective dispensary owners to pay a $5,000 application fee as well as an $80,000 license fee every other year, according to The Plain Dealer. Potential owners also would be required to have a minimum of $250,000 in liquid assets.


Marijuana Business License Directory
Under the draft rules, dispensaries would have to employ a pharmacist, nurse, physician or physician’s assistant to…

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National Poll Shows Increasing Majority Support for Legal Marijuana

A new poll by the Pew Research Center shows that a majority of Americans think that marijuana should be legal, and support is increasing.

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(Pew Research Center)

Today, 57% of U.S. adults say the use of marijuana should be made legal, while 37% say it should be illegal. A decade ago, opinion on legalizing marijuana was nearly the reverse – just 32% favored legalization, while 60% were opposed.

The shift in public opinion on the legalization of marijuana has occurred during a time when many U.S. states are relaxing their restrictions on…

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The East Coast medical cannabis market: Q&A with Ted Rebholz of Temescal Wellness

Ted Rebholz LR

By Omar Sacirbey

Ted Rebholz was offered a high-level position at Harborside Health Center, but he turned it down to stay with a tech firm that was later sold to Cisco Systems.

Crossing paths with Harborside piqued Rebholz’s interest in the cannabis industry, paving the way for him to start a licensed MMJ business in New Hampshire. 

Rebholz’s company, Temescal Wellness, owns two of New Hampshire’s four state-allotted dispensaries.

Rebholz – who once toyed with the idea of working in the public sector for an institution like the World…

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Medical Marijuana Now Legal in Ohio as New Law Officially Takes Effect

Medical Marijuana Now Legal in Ohio as New Law Officially Takes Effect

Patients with qualifying medical conditions will receive legal protections as state initiates process of establishing a regulated system of medical marijuana production and distribution

COLUMBUS, OH — Ohio’s new medical marijuana law will officially go into effect on Thursday, September 8.

Patients with qualifying medical conditions will receive limited legal protections from laws prohibiting marijuana possession, as several state agencies formally begin the process of establishing a regulated system of medical marijuana production and…

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Tale of Two States: Pennsylvania, Ohio Medical Marijuana Programs Moving at Different Pace

cannabis in ohio and pennsylvania

By Omar Sacirbey

Pennsylvania and Ohio legalized medical marijuana within weeks of one another over the spring, but their programs are advancing at different speeds.

Officials in Pennsylvania unveiled wide-ranging draft regulations last week governing the state’s new MMJ program, while neighboring Ohio is still a long way from that milestone. 

Ohio’s government leaders must still establish an advisory board that will help pen regulations, and final rules for all licensed cannabis businesses might not materialize until early September of…

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Ohio Commits Money to Implement Medical Marijuana Program

A bipartisan Ohio budget panel voted unanimously to release some $1.8 million to implement the state’s new medical marijuana program, delivering funds to regulators that will oversee the new industry.

The Ohio Department of Commerce and the state’s pharmacy board – the two agencies in charge of licensing MMJ firms – requested the money. Ohio’s medical cannabis law didn’t include provision for funding MMJ regulatory agencies, the Toledo Blade reported.

The commerce department, which will license growers, processors and testing…

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Top Legislative Victories of 2016

Now that most state legislative sessions are over for the year, MPP’s Rob Kampia has published a list of the biggest victories in what is already the biggest year on record for marijuana policy reformers!Rating_Badge_JO

On July 29, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed a bill removing the threat of arrest for small amounts of marijuana, capping a record year of legislative and administrative marijuana policy reforms throughout the country.

Two states, Pennsylvania and Ohio, enacted effective medical marijuana laws via their legislatures, making them…

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Ohio Supreme Court Weighs MMJ Rule Change for Laywers

The Ohio Supreme Court signaled Wednesday it might rewrite its ethics rules to permit lawyers in the state to help medical marijuana businesses, a move that would no doubt be welcomed by MMJ entrepreneurs and attorneys.

Earlier this month, the state supreme court’s Board of Professional Conduct issued a non-binding but influential advisory opinion warning that lawyers who counsel cannabis-touching business clients would be violating federal law and thereby its rules of conduct.

Some observers feared attorneys would avoid counseling…

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Lawyers Warned in Select States About Working With Medical Cannabis Firms

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By Omar Sacirbey

Professional ethics boards in a few states – most recently New Mexico and Ohio – have warned local attorneys that helping medical marijuana businesses can be a violation of professional rules of conduct.

The non-binding opinions could make it tougher for MMJ businesses in those states to get legal representation.

The recent opinions caution lawyers that assisting a cannabis business can be tantamount to helping a client break federal law, given marijuana’s status as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.

While differing…

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Ohio Supreme Court Delivers Blow to State’s MMJ Lawyers

The Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Conduct has determined that local lawyers who help marijuana entrepreneurs launch their businesses or offer advice would be violating its code of professional conduct.

The non-binding, advisory decision is a blow to prospective cannabis entrepreneurs who want to set up a medical cannabis business in the state – as well as lawyers who want to serve new companies. The board did note, however, that the high court could change the rules of conduct to give lawyers a clear green light.

The…

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Could Ohio Solve the Cannabis Industry’s Cash-Only Problem?

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By Omar Sacirbey

Could Ohio wean the marijuana industry from its need to do business in cash?

Ohio’s new medical marijuana law proposes a “closed-loop” payment processing system. It would be similar to pre-paid debit or gift cards. Regulators must still decide whether to use the system.

The proposal comes at a time when legal marijuana companies have had to rely on cash-only transactions. That’s because most banks, credit unions and credit card companies are reluctant to do business with them, given the uncertain federal regulatory…

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Lawmaker: Ohio MMJ Program Partially Unconstitutional

Ohio’s new medical cannabis program is at least partially unconstitutional, according to a key lawmaker, the Associated Press reported Monday.

The problematic provision legally requires that at least 15% of the state’s MMJ licenses be awarded to one of four economically disadvantaged minority groups – Hispanics, Asians, African Americans or Native Americans, the AP reported.

And although racial preference laws have long failed to stand up in court as violations of the U.S. Constitution, and lawmakers knew that it could prove to be an…

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Ohio Proposes Cashless System for Medical Cannabis Businesses

Could Ohio have a solution to the marijuana industry’s cash-only problem?

The state’s new medical marijuana law proposes a closed-loop payment processing system that would rely on something similar to pre-paid debit or gift cards, according to Cleveland.com.

Legal marijuana companies have had to rely on cash-only transactions because banks, credit unions and credit card companies are reluctant to do business with them, given the uncertain federal regulatory environment.

Ohio’s Commerce Department is responsible for setting up the…

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Ohio Lawyers Face Medical Cannabis Conundrums

Lawyers in Ohio have submitted at least two requests to the state Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Conduct to determine whether local attorneys can own or represent medical marijuana businesses, and whether they can use MMJ themselves.

Under Ohio’s new medical cannabis law, licensed professionals, which include attorneys, cannot be punished “solely for engaging in professional or occupational activities related to medical marijuana,” Cleveland.com reported.

But Ohio law says that only the state’s Supreme Court can discipline…

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Ohio Becomes 25th Medical Marijuana State

On Wednesday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed HB 523 into law, bringing the promise of relief to thousands of seriously ill patients in the Buckeye State. His action also marks an important milestone in the medical marijuana movement: Ohio’s new law means that now half the states in the U.S. have workable medical marijuana laws for their citizens. MPP_OMM_horizontal green

While this is an important step, more work lies ahead. Several agencies will administer the program, including the Department of Commerce, the State Board of Pharmacy, and the State Medical Board…

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Ohio Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Vaporization Measure

Ohio Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Vaporization Measure

Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed legislation into law establishing regulations for the licensed production and dispensing of medical cannabis formulations to qualified patients.

House Bill 523 authorizes the use of various forms of cannabis preparations for the physician-authorized treatment of the following qualifying conditions: acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS); Alzheimer’s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease); cancer; chronic traumatic encephalopathy; Crohn’s disease; epilepsy or other seizure…

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Ohio Campaign Suspends Signature Gathering After Legislature Passes Workable Medical Bill

On May 25, 2016, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 523, a limited but workable medical marijuana bill that would allow seriously ill patients to use and purchase cannabis. This bill is now heading to the desk of Gov. John Kasich, who could sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature. If you are an Ohio resident, please urge him to sign this compassionate bill into law.

This legislation was a direct response to an initiative MPP funded and sought to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. OH sealThe medical…

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Ohioans For Medical Marijuana Suspend 2016 Signature Drive

Ohioans For Medical Marijuana Suspend 2016 Signature Drive

With the recent passage of Ohio’s relatively comprehensive medical marijuana bill in the state legislature, a leading campaign working to place the issue of medical marijuana legalization before voters in November announced Saturday that they were suspending their signature drive.

Brandon Lynaugh, campaign manager for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, made the announcement in a statement to supporters:

Late Friday evening, after considerable discussion, the decision was made to suspend our drive to place an issue on the November 2016 Ohio…

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Ohio Set to Become the 26th Medical Cannabis State

Ohio Set to Become the 26th Medical Cannabis State

WASHINGTON, DC — Late on Wednesday night, the Ohio Legislature passed a medical marijuana bill, HB 523, which would create a system of retail distribution in the state. The bill passed by a vote of 18-15 in the Senate, followed shortly by a 67-28 vote in the House.

Governor John Kasich (R) is expected to the sign the bill, which will make Ohio the 26th medical cannabis state and the 42nd state with either a medical cannabis or cannabidiol (CBD) law. This means that there are now more than 310 million Americans living in a state whose…

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Poll: Swing State Voters Favor Marijuana Legalization

Poll: Swing State Voters Favor Marijuana Legalization

Solid majorities of voters in the swing states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania support the legalization of marijuana for adult use, and super-majorities in Florida and Ohio support efforts to medicalize the plant, according to polling data provided today by Quinnipiac University.

Fifty-six percent of Florida voters believe that state law ought to allow “adults to legally possess for personal use small amounts of marijuana.” Only majorities of self-identified Republicans and respondents over the age of 65 oppose legalization.

With…

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Ohio Medical Marijuana Initiative Certified, Signature Gathering Begins

Ohio Medical Marijuana Initiative Certified, Signature Gathering Begins

Ohioans for Medical Marijuana must collect 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July to qualify for the November ballot; the proposed measure would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to legally access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

COLUMBUS, OH — The Ohio Ballot Board certified a proposed ballot initiative on Thursday that could establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio. The five-member board reviews proposed ballot measures to ensure they represent only one issue.

Ohioans for…

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Ohio Attorney General Certifies Medical Marijuana Initiative

Ohio Attorney General Certifies Medical Marijuana Initiative

The measure proposed by Ohioans for Medical Marijuana would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to legally access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

COLUMBUS, OH — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine notified Ohioans for Medical Marijuana on Friday that he has certified the summary of the group’s proposed ballot initiative to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program and submitted it to the Ohio Secretary of State.

The attorney general confirmed the group submitted at least 1,000 valid signatures of…

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Ohio Medical Marijuana Initiative Submitted to Attorney General’s Office

Ohio Medical Marijuana Initiative Submitted to Attorney General’s Office

The proposed measure would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to legally access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Backers of a proposed 2016 ballot measure to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio submitted their initiative petition to the Ohio Attorney General on Thursday with more than 2,000 signatures.

The office has 10 days to examine the official summary of the initiative and confirm the petition contains at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters. The petition…

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Poll: 3 of 4 Ohio Voters Support Legalizing Medical Marijuana

Poll: 3 of 4 Ohio Voters Support Legalizing Medical Marijuana

Public Policy Polling survey finds 74% in favor and only 22% opposed as advocates prepare to launch a campaign in support of a constitutional ballot initiative that would allow seriously ill patients to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

COLUMBUS, OH — Approximately three out of four Ohio voters support amending the state constitution to make medical marijuana legal for patients with terminal or debilitating conditions, according to a new poll by Public Policy Polling released Monday.

The survey of 672 randomly selected…

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Was Anchoring Medical Marijuana to Recreational in Ohio Bad for Patients?

Was Anchoring Medical Marijuana to Recreational in Ohio Bad for Patients?

By now, everyone in the medical marijuana reform movement has seen the results in Ohio, where the commingled recreational and medical cannabis voter initiative (Issue 3) put forth by ResponsibleOhio was defeated at the polls by a nearly 2:1 margin.

Aside from sanctimonious hand wringing from recreational proponents treating patient access as a political weapon against those who had concerns with the implications of Issue 3’s licensing structure (which has been talked about ad nauseam and won’t be discussed in detail here), nobody has…

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Swing States: Super-Majorities Endorse Medical Cannabis Access, Men Support Broader Legalization

Swing States: Super-Majorities Endorse Medical Cannabis Access, Men Support Broader Legalization

HAMDEN, CT — Super-majorities of voters believe that medical cannabis should be legal, and most men additionally support legalizing marijuana for all adults, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University Swing State poll.

Pollsters gauged support for marijuana law reform in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Florida voters backed legalizing cannabis therapy by a margin of 87 percent to 12 percent. A majority of male voters (57 percent) also supported broader legalization, while only 49 percent of women agreed.

Reform advocates are…

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2016 Marijuana Legalization Initiatives: An Overview

2016 Marijuana Legalization Initiatives: An Overview

Marijuana legalization initiative campaigns aiming at November 2016 are underway in nearly a dozen states. Here’s a look at what’s likely to pass and what isn’t.

Marijuana is going to be part of the political conversation between now and Election Day 2016. Support for legalization is now consistently polling above 50% nationwide, four states and DC have already voted to legalize it, and activists at least ten states are doing their best to make it an issue this time around.

In those states, they’re working to take marijuana legalization directly to the voters in the form of initiatives. Not all of those efforts will actually make the ballot — mass signature-gathering campaigns require not only enthusiasm but cold, hard cash to succeed — and not all of those that qualify will…

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One State, Two Initiatives. What then?

Terry,
Thanks for this ardent plea to come together to accomplish common goals, one way or another. It’s an issue many places and, in one sense, reflects the diversity and success of our movement. People want to be on this bandwagon. Even more importantly for getting things accomplished, they want to take an active role and have input into the results.

However, we face a dilemma if the current round of consecutive successes were to degenerate into a fight over who gets to take credit for defeating prohibition. Frankly, no matter whose proposal is passed and implemented, nowhere can any group claim exclusive credit for making that happen. Even at the most local level, the wide influence of many different people, groups, and voices, as well as the broad sweep of those who support our…

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