Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed into law legislation (House Bill 523) that makes Ohio the next state to legalize the medical use of cannabis and cannabis medicines. The governor’s signature comes roughly two weeks after the measure was passed in the House of Representatives 67 to 28, which followed an 18 to 15 vote in the Senate.
Under the new law, those who receive a recommendation from a physician will be allowed to purchase, possess and use cannabis and cannabis medicines. Although smoking cannabis would unfortunately remain prohibited, vaporizing cannabis would be allowed, as would ingesting it through a variety of other methods such as oils, tinctures and edibles.
The law establishes a system of state-licensed cultivation centers and dispensaries, which will provide patients with a means of safe and reliable access to their medicine.
“This is a joyous day for the thousands of Ohioans who will finally be able to safely access much-needed medicine,” said Ohioans for Medical Marijuana spokesman Aaron Marshall. “As we continue this movement to bring medical marijuana to all Buckeyes who need it, we will remember today as a huge step forward.”
Marshall continues, noting that the fight isn’t over; “We still have much work ahead of us to improve this imperfect law while holding state lawmakers and regulators to the promises contained in HB 523, but we are proud of the role that we played in getting this law enacted. We plan on working to better this program, utilizing our amendment as a roadmap for those improvements.”
The new law goes into effect in 90 days.