Medical marijuana: Ohio lawmakers eye changes to regulation of dispensaries –

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio lawmakers may strip the Ohio Board of Pharmacy of its regulatory role over medical marijuana dispensaries, instead giving oversight to the Ohio Department of Commerce.

Regulatory responsibilities currently under the Board of Pharmacy that would be transferred to the Department of Commerce include patient and caregiver registration, criminal background checks of dispensary employees, maintenance of a toll-free line for responding to inquires about the medical marijuana program and selecting which businesses receive dispensary licenses.

The move comes at the request of Gov. Mike DeWine, in his budget recommendations for the legislature, which are now under consideration in the Ohio House.

“This proposal is a consolidation for efficiency, as a significant portion of staff support and expertise in this field is at the Department of Commerce currently,” said Dan Tierney, DeWine’s spokesman.

Ohio’s medical cannabis program currently has three regulators: The Department of Commerce, the Board of Pharmacy and the State Medical Board of Ohio.

The Department of Commerce is responsible for the licensing and regulation of marijuana growers, processors – who take the plant and extract its oils and chemicals to create products, such as edibles and tinctures – and testing labs that look for THC levels and pesticides.

The Board of

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