US (OH): Cannabis industry, clamoring for reform, may finally get its wish

The Buckeye State is often framed as business-friendly, but it has not been a great friend to its burgeoning cannabis industry, according to the people tangling with its regulatory web. They may soon get some help from the General Assembly, however.

State Senate President Matt Huffman — a Lima Republican and lead sponsor of House Bill 523, which established the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP) in 2016 — is working on a bill that would reshape the program in several significant ways.

A draft of this bill is circulating among business license holders and state regulators. Huffman said a version could be introduced officially in the coming weeks. Among various changes being considered, the bill aims to eliminate the Board of Pharmacy as an OMMCP regulating agency, and would instead establish a division of cannabis control within the Department of Commerce.

Currently, businesses involved in cultivation, processing, and selling of cannabis are subject to oversight by both commerce and pharmacy agencies at different points. The State Medical Board of Ohio also plays a role in the program.


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