On June 12, 2017, Dublin City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to prohibit medical marijuana cultivation, processing, and retail dispensing within the City. The City took this action under its home-rule authority to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of its residents and community. This action is also specifically permitted by the law that created Ohio’s medical marijuana program.
The City’s concern stems from marijuana’s continued illegal status under federal law. This carries a number of consequences, including the need for medical marijuana businesses and customers to possess significant quantities of cash due to banking restrictions on marijuana proceeds. The presence of raw plant materials in cultivation and processing also raises concerns for safety of those facilities. With these considerations in mind, the City is sensitive to the concern that medical marijuana products may provide relief for some residents suffering from illness and this new legislation in no way affects the use of medical marijuana.
The information provided on this page is intended to summarize what the legislation will—and will not—do.
House Bill (H.B.) 523 created a framework for the legal use of medical marijuana in the State of Ohio. This framework places three state entities—the Department of Commerce, the Board of Pharmacy, and the Board of Medicine—in charge of making rules relating to the cultivation, distribution, recommendation, sale, testing, and use of medical marijuana in the state.
H.B. 523 included a specific provision affirming local municipalities’ rights to prohibit the cultivation, processing, and dispensing of medical marijuana within their limits. This provision is codified at Section 3796.29 of the Ohio Revised Code.
- This provision does not relate to the use or possession of medical marijuana by a patient, or to a qualified physician’s ability to recommend medical marijuana to a patient.
- Local action to ban cultivation, processing, and dispensing does not impact patient use or a qualified physician’s ability to recommend medical marijuana.
- Cultivation means the growing and harvesting of medical marijuana for commercial purposes authorized by H.B. 523. It requires licensure under the law and rules being finalized by the State.
- Processors take the raw marijuana produced by cultivators and refine it into oil, tinctures, edibles, or patches that are authorized for distribution as medical marijuana under the law.
- Dispensaries sell medical marijuana to the patient or caregiver with a physician recommendation to use medical marijuana.
- Dublin residents will still have the option of using medical marijuana (subject to the state’s requirements) within the City of Dublin.
Marijuana (cannabis), including medical marijuana, remains a Schedule I controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
- This means that, according to the federal government, it has no medicinal value and is an illicit drug.
- As a consequence, FDIC-insured and nationally chartered banks, and credit card companies, cannot provide financial services where funds are derived from medical marijuana. Most transactions necessarily will have to be made in cash.
- The federal government also, at any time, could shift from the laissez faire approach it has recently taken to enforcing federal law against marijuana. Any medical marijuana operation could be subject to federal enforcement action.