House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill


The House sent its medical marijuana legalization bill, HB 523, over to the Senate this week.  The Senate began hearings immediately, so that it might pass the bill prior to adjournment at the end of May. Polls show medical marijuana legalization is overwhelmingly supported by Ohio voters.  Initiatives are headed to the November ballot, pushed by national marijuana advocacy groups. HB 523 seeks to address Ohioan’s apparent support for the concept of medical marijuana, but builds in regulatory controls that are missing from two citizen-initiated measures that hope to gain enough signatures be on the November ballot. The bill also includes a number of employer safeguards that OMA counsel Joëlle Khouzam of Bricker & Eckler sought in testimony to the House in March. Read an analysis of the bill prepared by Joëlle here.