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Legalized Medical Marijuana Will Not Be Easily Accessible in Ohio

July 5, 2016, 8:06 PM UTC
An Initiative To Legalize Marijuana In California To Appear On Nov. Ballot
Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

If you’re an Ohioan and are in need of medical marijuana, don’t expect to get the drug as soon as it becomes legal in September.

Although Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich signed a bill legalizing marijuana for medical purposes in Ohio in June, it won’t be available at dispensaries anytime soon. According to a previous Fortune article, although the law takes effect in 90 days, there are a number of steps that first need to be taken in order to set up the state’s medical marijuana program. It is expected to be fully functional in about two years.

State Sen. Kenny Yuko, who has been working for more than a decade to legalize medical marijuana, says the state needs to get moving soon on the rules for who can get the drug, and where they can get it from, according to WKSU, public radio for Northeast Ohio.

“First thing we need to concentrate on [is] formulating the growing rules so we know who exactly is going to be able to grow, how much you’re going to be able to grow, what your expectations are, what the costs are going to be,” he told WKSU.

Sen. Yuko also explained that the state needs to set up an identification process for patients and caregivers, and then, ” make sure we get some dispensaries up-and-running.”


Yuko said that Ohioans that want to drive out-of-state to buy medical marijuana won’t have much luck, as Michigan—the closest state that sells medical marijuana—only sells to residents of Pennsylvania, which approved it’s own medical marijuana law in April. According to WKSU, Pennsylvania is on the same timeline as Ohio for opening dispensaries. Ohio is the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana, falling right behind Pennsylvania that’s 24th.