City may extend moratorium on medical marijuana

By Frank Lewis -

On Aug. 22, 2016 the city of Portsmouth passed a resolution placing a six month moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. Council said the reason was to determine how the state’s rules and regulations would impact the city.

The state of Ohio has still not released the rules and regulations of the dispensing of medical marijuana, and the moratorium in the city of Portsmouth expired Wednesday, so City Manager Derek Allen will be bringing forth legislation to extend the current moratorium another six months.

Medical marijuana was made legal by Substitute House Bill 523 and that law became effective Sept. 8, 2016.

At one point, according to the Associated Press, the state Medical Board advised doctors not to recommend marijuana to patients while Ohio’s program is being crafted, which could take up to two years.

The Ohio State Medical Board, which regulates doctors, put in writing its guidance advising doctors not to recommend marijuana to patients.

The law gives adult patients and parents or guardians of minor children an affirmative defense for certain marijuana-related acts that may still be considered crimes until Ohio’s law is fully implemented.

But the board said physicians need one of its “certificates to recommend” before they can write written recommendations for medical marijuana for their patients. Rules for how those certificates will work haven’t been written yet. The board has two years.

By Frank Lewis

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-370-0711

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-370-0711