Medical Marijuana Business FAQs: Ohio

What does the new medical marijuana law do?

House Bill 523, effective on September 8, 2016, creates a regulated medical marijuana industry in Ohio. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program will allow people with certain medical conditions, upon the recommendation of an Ohio-licensed physician certified by the State Medical Board, to purchase and use medical marijuana. While the legislation set a basic framework for the program, it left the task of establishing specific rules and guidelines for the cultivation, processing, testing, dispensing and medical use of marijuana to different state agencies.

How does the medical marijuana law help patients?

Patients with a qualifying medical condition must apply to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to receive an identification card by submitting an application. The patient’s physician must be treating the patient and hold a certificate to recommend medical marijuana by the Ohio Medical Board. Patients may not grow their own medical marijuana, but must receive it from a licensed medical marijuana dispensary.

According to the Ohio medical marijuana law, qualifying medical conditions include: AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain which is either chronic and severe or intractable, Parkinson’s disease, positive HIV status, PTSD, sickle-cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injuries, ulcerative colitis, or any other condition added by the state medical board.  Patients with any of the above conditions could potentially benefit from the use of medical marijuana as recommended by their physicians.

What are the allowed forms of medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana may only be dispensed in the following forms: oils, tinctures, plant material, edibles and patches.  

When will the program become operational?

- April 2017: Department of Commerce adopts rules establishing standards and procedures for the licensure of cultivators.  

- September, 2017: Department of Commerce adopts rules establishing standards and procedures for the medical marijuana control program.  State   medical Board adopts rules establishing conditions for a physician to recommend medical marijuana and standards of care.  

- September, 2018: Program is fully operational.

Will a medical marijuana business increase crime in the area?

Most available studies on the subject of regulated marijuana businesses and crime suggest that regulated marijuana businesses either have no significant effect on or slightly reduce the risk of crime in the immediate area, while having the notable effect of reducing the illegal sale of marijuana.[1][2]  While it may seem that such businesses would be a target for criminal activity, the fact that these businesses are continually recorded and monitored by security personnel tends to discourage the targeting of these enterprises for theft.  Instead, these studies suggest that marijuana businesses are not more likely to attract crime than any other business.[3]  In many cases, by bringing new business and economic activity to previously abandoned or run-down retail spaces, medical marijuana businesses actually contribute to a reduction in crime.

When medical marijuana businesses operate with the permission of the city and state, they are more likely to appropriately utilize law enforcement resources and report any crimes directly to appropriate agencies.  Our proposed business seeks to work with local law enforcement to deter and prevent crime in the area and benefit the community by implementing the strictest precautions related to the safety and security of the business, its patients and the community at large.

What will be the impact of a medical marijuana business on property values in the area?

Research into the effect of licensed marijuana businesses on real estate value in the vicinity has

suggested that such businesses tend to increase the value of nearby real estate. Data from

Colorado and several other states shows that licensed marijuana businesses are correlated with

larger increases in real estate valuation than would be expected according to national trendlines.[4] Medical marijuana businesses tend to locate in areas which have depressed property values, and then help to increase property values in those areas after operations begin.  This effect is especially pronounced for cultivation facilities.[5]

Overall, there is no data suggesting falling property values following the nearby location of a licensed marijuana business, while there is substantial data reflecting the tendency of such businesses to improve real estate values in the vicinity.[6][7] Claims about the negative impacts of marijuana businesses on local residents appear unfounded; many may actually benefit the communities in which they are located through economic development, philanthropic giving, and provision of community services.

 

How many jobs will a medical marijuana business generate?

Reports from Colorado and other established medical and adult-use marijuana states indicate that marijuana businesses positively impact the surrounding community by creating new jobs.  In Colorado, the marijuana industry currently employs over 21,000 people directly, with increased ancillary activity in construction, garden supply and electrical industries, among others.

Buckeye Relief intends to be no exception to this trend.  We estimate creating 20-30 temporary jobs during the start-up process, largely in construction.  We further estimate that, between cultivation and extraction operations, we will create about 30- 50 permanent jobs in the Eastlake community.

Will the location of a medical marijuana business in the community lead to an increase in the underage use of marijuana?

The available data from states with medical marijuana programs suggests that laws which regulate marijuana businesses actually tend to decrease use by teens and minors.  Medical marijuana businesses move the purchase of marijuana off the streets and away from disreputable dealers who will sell to minors.  Instead, the purchase of marijuana at licensed medical marijuana dispensaries requires ID-based age verification, ensuring that everyone who purchases medical marijuana at a dispensary is at least 21 years of age.  And by putting illegitimate dealers out of business, medical marijuana businesses reduce the opportunity for teens to purchase marijuana illegally as well.

What will be the impact of a medical marijuana business in terms of odor and visibility of operations?

Buckeye Relief will take every step to deal with odor.  While odor is one of the more common concerns expressed by community members with respect to medical marijuana businesses, significant technological progress has been made in other states with medical marijuana programs in terms of solving this problem.  By employing the use of cutting-edge odor control systems which have been proven effective in cultivating, processing and dispensing environments, Buckeye Relief will ensure that its neighbors are protected from any aroma they might find unpleasant. 

In terms of mitigating the visibility of the medical marijuana business, Buckeye Relief plans to develop a perimeter of trees around its premises.  This will help to block the medical marijuana business from the view of its neighbors in addition to generally beautifying the area in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Will the medical marijuana business be a fire hazard?

No.  It is true that, if managed poorly, certain types of medical marijuana businesses can pose a risk of fire, especially cultivation and extraction businesses.  However, Buckeye Relief has a considerable amount of expertise at its disposal for dealing with these issues, and is in the process of developing comprehensive fire safety plans for its locations.  We intend to work closely with the Eastlake Fire Department to ensure that no undue risks are taken and that appropriate fire prevention measures are implemented.  We are also eagerly awaiting the publication of medical marijuana business-specific fire code provisions by the National Fire Protection Association, hopefully in the 2018 version of its comprehensive fire code.

As a resident, what if I have a complaint or issue with the facility?

Buckeye Relief will have a dedicated community relations liaison that will listen to any complaints, concerns or issues. We will resolve any complaints from our neighbors in a timely manner and in a way that satisfies all impacted parties. In addition, we will have a variety of channels of communication to receive feedback, including a website and 24-hour hotline number. All communication and feedback will receive a timely and positive response. We pledge to be available and responsive to any feedback, concerns and questions. We intend to continue to listen, share knowledge, and create an understanding of our services, objectives and planned outcomes. Open communication and dialogue will enhance our commitment to having a positive community impact.  In the interim, please email info@buckeyerelief.com with any questions you may have regarding Buckeye Relief.

 

[1] “LAPD Chief: Pot clinics not plagued by crime.” Los Angeles Daily News, January 17, 2010. http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_14206441.

[2] “Marijuana shops not magnets for crime, police say,” Fort Collins Gazette, September 14, 2010. http://www.gazette.com/articles/wall-104598-marijuana-brassfield.html.

[3] “Analysis: Denver pot shops’ robbery rate lower than banks,” The Denver Post, January 27, 2010. http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14275637

[4] “Will Legal Marijuana Give Home Prices a New High?”  Realtor.com, November 7, 2016.  http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/legalizing-marijuana-gets-housing-prices-high/

[5] Id.

[6] Jessica Ostermick & Katie Murtaugh. CBRE (2015): Colorado Industrial & Retail: Marijuana Real Estate in Denver the Early Years.

[7] Cheng Cheng, Walter J. Mayer, & Yanling Mayer, University of Mississippi (2016): The Effect of Legalizing Retail Marijuana on Housing Values: Evidence from Colorado.