FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Contact: Violet Cavendish
Statement below from the Marijuana Policy Project, which led the 2016 ballot initiative effort that galvanized state lawmakers to enact a viable medical marijuana law
Medical marijuana sales will begin in Ohio Wednesday, according to news reports, but product types and supplies will be limited and delays with implementation will continue for most of the state.
Effective medical marijuana laws have been adopted in 32 states, D.C. and the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Seventeen other states have adopted medical marijuana laws that are ineffective because they are either unworkable or exceptionally restrictive. Idaho is the only state without any form of medical marijuana law.
Statement from Chis Lindsey, senior legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project, which led Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, the 2016 ballot initiative effort that galvanized state lawmakers to enact a viable medical marijuana law:
“Patients in Ohio are finally going to begin accessing medical marijuana safely and legally in licensed dispensaries. While this is historic, it is also bittersweet, as implementation of the law continues to be delayed in most parts of the state. Countless Ohioans could benefit from medical cannabis, but only a limited number will gain access to it this week.
"While the state created a very functional program, the delays it experienced should serve as a lesson for states that are considering adopting medical cannabis laws this year. States that create a high regulatory hurdle need to be ready for the additional burdens it places on state agencies and applicants as programs get off the ground. Otherwise, a lot of the patients these laws were created to help won’t experience the benefits until several years after they are enacted.”
Founded in 1995, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the nation’s leading cannabis policy reform organization. MPP has played a central role in passing dozens of cannabis policy reforms in states across the country, including 10 successful cannabis legalization campaigns, and also works to advance federal reforms.