Medical marijuana in Ohio was legalized Wednesday with the stroke of Republican Gov. John Kasich's pen, but doesn't kick in for almost a year.
The state legislature approved the bill in May, and starting next year Ohio patients with a doctor's prescription will be allowed to use oil, edible, tincture or vapor forms of marijuana, said Reuters
. The measure doesn’t allow users to smoke or grow their own marijuana.
Patients with conditions ranging from epilepsy to chronic pain and the side effects of cancer treatments will be able to bring marijuana to Ohio from other states as early as Sept. 6, the Cincinnati Enquirer
reported. Establishing rules for growers and dispensaries will take longer.
Ohio is the 25th state to legalize some form of medical use of the drug. A few states allow recreational use of the drug. A ballot measure to allow recreational use in Ohio was soundly defeated last year.
The law allows the use of marijuana for 20 medical conditions and establish a system for growing, testing and dispensing, the Columbus Dispatch
A 12-member commission will advise the Department of Commerce, Ohio Pharmacy Board and Ohio Medical Board as they oversee the new industry.
"This is a joyous day for the thousands of Ohioans who will finally be able to safely access much-needed medicine," Ohioans for Medical Marijuana spokesman Aaron Marshall said. "We still have much work ahead of us to improve this imperfect law..."
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