There is a bizarre happening in some medical marijuana states that isn’t at all consistent with common sense. Some jurisdictions, while allowing marijuana to be sold to patients for therapeutic purposes, have banned the sale of hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) in traditional retail outlets where it has been made available for years.
Ohio is the latest state to implement this rule. Even though CBD is non-psychoactive, officials are insisting that all of these products be distributed exclusively in marijuana dispensaries.
It was recently determined by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy that all CBD products, even those derived from hemp, should be classified as medical marijuana and therefore be sold only in state-licensed dispensaries. The board says that patients must be able to trace these products back to a known source and have a full understanding of how much of its active ingredient each one contains.
Although this change in the law will not prevent some customers from getting their hands on this medicine, supplement, whatever they choose to call it, it will, however, lead to inflation in prices.
“The prices, if they’re going to skyrocket, are going to hurt customers’ pockets,” Rabi Ahmad, owner of Smokers Plus, told WHIO. “Senior citizens mostly buy the CBD. The young kids, they don’t buy CBD at all.”
The new rule may also cause a few snags for those people who may not qualify for participation with the state medical marijuana program. As it stands, the law only allows patients with a severe or debilitating condition, like AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable, and traumatic brain injury, to buy cannabis products.
So, before a person can gain access to a state-sanctioned medical marijuana dispensary to buy CBD, he or she must receive clearance from a physician. In some cases, it may not be difficult to navigate through this red tape and become a patient, while it could prove difficult for others. Not every physician across the Buckeye State is willing to write medical marijuana recommendations.
The situation with this amendment could also prove challenging when it comes to staying out of jail.
Hemp-based CBD products have become very popular. They are sold without any legal stipulation in health food stores, convenience stores, vape shops, and other retail outlets in many nearby states, including Indiana. There is nothing stopping a resident of Ohio from crossing over the state line to buy these products without a medical marijuana recommendation. Yet, that plan comes with risks once they get back home. The Board of Pharmacy said anyone caught with CBD, who has not been cleared for the state’s medical marijuana program, could face criminal charges. The same goes for those non-dispensary businesses that continue to sell it.
For now, however, there doesn’t appear to be a strict enforcement plan in place. But it would not be irresponsible to suggest that local police departments could conduct these sorts of shakedowns on their own accord.