Republican Gov. John Kasich signed a bill Wednesday legalizing medical marijuana in Ohio, though patients shouldn’t expect to get it from dispensaries here anytime soon.
The bill lays out a number of steps that must happen first to set up the state’s medical marijuana program, which is expected to be fully operational in about two years. The law would allow patients to use marijuana in vapor form for certain chronic health conditions, but bar them from smoking it or growing it at home.
Kasich’s signature made Ohio the 25th state to legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program, according to a count by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
WHAT CHANGES WOULD BE IN PLACE FIRST?
When the law takes effect in 90 days, cities and towns could move to ban dispensaries or limit the number of them. Licensed cultivators, processors, dispensaries and testing laboratories could not be within 500-feet of schools, churches, public libraries, playgrounds or parks. Employers could continue to enforce drug-testing policies and maintain drug-free workplaces. Banks that provide services to marijuana-related entities would be protected from criminal prosecution.