Ohio Board of Pharmacy Publishes Cannabis Dispensary Rules

Cannabis dispensary rules - Ohio
Image: Laurie Avocado - Cropped version of [1], CC BY 2.0, Link

The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy and the State Medical Board have published proposed medicinal cannabis dispensary and physician rules.

The proposed medical marijuana dispensary rules (PDF) state up to 40 licenses will be available for establishments initially, but additional licenses may be issued based on factors such as population and distribution of dispensaries.

Licenses won’t be cheap – the two-yearly fee for a dispensary will be USD $80,000.

Each dispensary will be required to have a clinical director that is either a licensed pharmacist or licensed prescriber. Among the clinical director’s responsibilities will be the training of staff; an issue that hit industry headlines recently when a study found a lack of training among dispensary employees.

As for staff, each employee must be licensed by the Board and wear a state issued ID card whilst on the premises of the dispensary at which they are employed.

The physician rules (PDF) is a far lengthier document.

Eligibility for a certificate to prescribe medical marijuana begins with a requirement of an active, unrestricted license to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery in the state.

The practitioner will also need to be actively registered with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), have access to the drug database established by the board of pharmacy and have a clean record in relation to controlled substances – and this includes no offences relating to possession.

There are quite a few other conditions relating to physician eligibility, then added to that are all the requirements directly in relation to prescribing and standards of care.

Feedback is invited on the proposed rules.

In November last year, Ohio residents voted on an amendment to permit the use of medicinal marijuana for treating certain conditions. The state’s medical cannabis legislation narrowly cleared the Senate in May this year.

In June this year, Governor John Kasich signed the bill, making Ohio the 25th state in the USA to legalize medicinal marijuana. House Bill 523 became effective on September 8, 2016.

Further information on the state’s scheme can be viewed at the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program web site.