Ohio lawmaker seeks expansion of medical marijuana law


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Eligibility for medical marijuana in Ohio would be expanded to include any condition determined by a licensed physician to need treatment, under a new bill that would further expand the state’s medicinal marijuana program.

The measure would also place regulation of the program solely under the Department of Commerce, removing the current, additional oversight by the state pharmacy board, according to legislation introduced this week by Senate Health Chairman Steve Huffman, a Tipp City Republican and doctor.

The bill expands qualifying conditions to include autism spectrum disorder, arthritis, migraines, terminal illness and treatment of any other condition whose “symptoms may reasonably be expected to be relieved from medical marijuana” as determined by a physician.

Ohio legalized medical marijuana in 2016 and implemented it in 2019. Earlier this year, the pharmacy board voted to make 73 more dispensary licenses available beyond the current number of 52.

In addition to Huffman’s legislation, a separate petition drive is under way to place a proposed law legalizing marijuana use and sales before lawmakers. Meanwhile, a pair of House Republican lawmakers plan to soon introduce their own bill legalizing marijuana.

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