Medical marijuana is on the rise in the USA. 29 states currently allow the use of medical marijuana, and in one sense the floodgates have been opened. Many states are afraid of missing out on the “action”, as it has been demonstrated time and time again that marijuana is wonderful for the creation of jobs and industries. But the topic is fiercely debated, and the implementation of marijuana comes with its own set of hurdles. It is not as easy as allowing patients access as there are a huge number of variables to take into consideration. And medical marijuana has had varying levels of success depending on the individual states and the particular policies that they adopt.
Medical Marijuana in Portsmouth
The opening of a medical marijuana facility is currently being debated in Portsmouth, Ohio. During the forum, Dr. Michael Martin warned allowing such a dispensary in the city might only add to the drug problem, saying: “Do we really need more drugs out there available for use or misuse?”
Unfortunately, this is an all too common misconception when speaking about the advantages and disadvantages of marijuana. Marijuana is simply not a drug in the same sense as cocaine, heroin or opioids. But at the Federal level they are classified as the same. This is a misnomer as people can proclaim that more drugs will add to the problem. But multiple studies have actually suggested that marijuana results in a lesser number of these drugs being used. So if people want all the drugs out there to be reduced, the best way to do it is with a much softer drug with no side effects, known as marijuana. It is a gateway drug away from harder substances, not a gateway drug towards more serious materials, a myth that was often perpetuated since marijuana was banned in 1937.
Other people at the forum weighed in on the advantages of marijuana. Tara Cordle shared how marijuana has been a blessing for her 11 year old son Waylon, who has intractable epilepsy. “This medical marijuana I give him, we don’t have doctor bills like we did…”It’s just crazy that we even have to talk about it. It’s given him a life. His seizures he does have now are so minor compared to what he was doing.”CBD is the compound found in marijuana that is known to help with seizure related conditions. CBD has no psychoactive effects like marijuana, as it is THC that gives these effects.
Others cited a number of economic concerns for the introduction of a medical marijuana dispensary in the area. It is a fact that millions of dollars are being made in other states and regions. This is possible if marijuana is introduced cleverly and with thought. Some states have done it extremely well, such as Colorado, others have left much to be desired, such as Florida. But generally speaking the introduction of marijuana dispensaries has been proven to boost the local and state economy. It is a massive industry and the mayor indicated that in the city of Portsmouth a medical marijuana dispensary would have “nothing but a positive impact”.
Medical Marijuana in Ohio
Medical marijuana Medical marijuana became a reality in Ohio over a year ago and there is still much ongoing work to be put in place. It is still early days for the industry and the pros and cons of the opening a medical dispensary have to be weighed up. Medical marijuana has already been authorized on the state level, so the only way to keep a dispensary out of Portsmouth is to pass an ordinance banning them. Many municipalities have already banned medical dispensaries from their area in Ohio. However, the bans can be lifted or they can expire.
The landscape of medical marijuana in the State of Ohio still leaves much to be desired. Doctors have no way of becoming certified to recommend medical marijuana and patients can’t buy legal marijuana. No licenses have been awarded there are many unknown details about how the program is to be implemented. The current law stipulates that patients with one of 21 conditions can buy and use marijuana if they get a recommendation from a doctor. Unfortunately, there are no doctors and nowhere to buy marijuana. Officials declared that dispensaries will be open by the deadline of September 8 2018. The plans at present are to license 24 cultivators, 40 processors that will make a variety of marijuana remedies such as tinctures, oils and the like, 60 dispensaries and an unknown number of testing facilities. The application process is said to be very complicated and is also quite expensive. For cultivators, the fee is $180,000 with a renewable fee of $200,000 a year. This kind of draconian process is going to leave the dispensaries in the hands of big businesses, though there is nothing stopping some entrepreneurs, even from out of state, from applying for a license.
A Dispensary in Portsmouth?
There was no conclusion to the meeting, but the fact that the mayor and the majority of people seemed to be onboard can be seen as a good sign. It is typical that it would be a doctor to cite concerns. The medical industry has traditionally had a large number of ties to the pharmaceutical industry for the sale of expensive chemical remedies that were never designed to solve the actual problem.