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Politics & Government

Ohio Senate OKs Bill To Expand Medical Marijuana Program

Carmen Fultz, an employee of Buckeye Relief LLC, sorts the male and female marijuana plants inside a Veg Room, in Eastlake, Ohio.
David Dermer
/
Associated Press
Carmen Fultz, an employee of Buckeye Relief LLC, sorts the male and female marijuana plants inside a Veg Room, in Eastlake, Ohio.

More Ohio dispensaries could sell medical marijuana, cultivators could grow more of it and more conditions would qualify for using it under legislation passed Wednesday by the Republican-led state Senate.

Physicians could recommend marijuana to treat any medical condition if they conclude a patient would “reasonably be expected” to find relief or benefit. Regulation of dispensaries would move from the pharmacy board to a new Division of Marijuana Control in the Commerce Department.

Physician and Republican Rep. Steve Huffman said the changes he proposed are aimed at improving the program developed since Ohio legalized medical marijuana in 2016.

The proposal would allow level one cultivators to expand their growing operations from 25,000 square feet to 75,000 square feet, and level two cultivators from 3,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet. Huffman’s legislation also sets a goal of one dispensary for every 1,000 registered patients, down from one dispensary for every 6,000 registered patients today.

The proposal now moves to the House.