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Medical Marijuana For Autism & Opioid Use Disorder: Ohio's New Bill To Expand Eligible Diagnoses & More

A new Ohio legislative session kicked off this month and cannabis reform is on the table.

For starters, a new bill was introduced to set up a 13-member medicinal cannabis oversight commission, in addition to a new state agency, reported

Autism And Opioid Use Disorder Finally Make The List

Senate Bill 9 from Sen. Stephen Huffman and fellow Republican Sen. Kirk Schuring would also expand the list of conditions for which cannabis can be recommended, including autism spectrum disorder and opioid use disorder, to name a few.

Interestingly, the Ohio State Medical Board appealed earlier this week to have autism added to the list of approved medical conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana, reported News 5. House Bill 60 from Dem. State Rep. Juanita Brent is also seeking to address that. Her bill had previously advanced through House committees but now it is waiting to be introduced to the House floor for the third time now that the general assembly has convened.

Meanwhile, Huffman’s bill seeks to amend the law, which legalized the plant in the Buckeye State years ago.

“There’s more growers, there’s more demand,” Huffman said. “They put an application into the Department of Commerce, and it sits there for 18 months, two years. Hopefully, this takes the bureaucracy out of this and streamlines things and makes it a better-functioning industry.”

Under the new legislation, the Medical Marijuana Oversight Commission would oversee the Division of Marijuana Control. In addition, the Division of Marijuana Control would fall under the Ohio Department of Commerce.

A similar measure, SB 261, passed the Senate in December 2021, only to die in the House shortly thereafter.

The latest legalization push comes on the heels of Gov. Mike DeWine signing into law a GOP-led bill that seeks to prevent people from being burdened with a criminal record for a simple marijuana paraphernalia arrest.

Senate Bill 288, a large-scale criminal justice legislation from Sen. Nathan Manning (R), contains marijuana-specific provisions under which misdemeanor cannabis paraphernalia possession cases would not need to be disclosed “in response to any inquiries about the person’s criminal record.”

What About Rec Marijuana?

Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) was among the first to address the issue this year. He sent a letter to legislative leaders recently, formally resubmitting a marijuana legalization petition. Now, lawmakers have four months to consider the proposed reform.

“As stipulated in the Settlement Order, today shall be considered the date on which the German Assembly’s four-month period to consider the proposed law begins, as provided for in Article II, Section 1b of the Ohio Constitution, and no parties shall take any direct or indirect action in contravention of this re-transmission,” the secretary of state wrote in the letter to lawmakers.

Photo: Courtesy of Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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