By Derrick Stanley
Laws for legal medical marijuana take effect in Ohio in one month, but Lakewood and other cities across the state are making moves to block cannabis businesses from opening in their communities.
Several Ohio cities have put a six-month moratorium on licensing marijuana cultivators, processors and retailers. Several others are considering temporary bans in advance of the new law, which takes effect September 8.
But it's likely to be six months before any marijuana businesses are licensed in Ohio. Three government agencies will be setting up the regulations and licensing processes, and the first deadline is in May 2017.
Ohio's medical marijuana law will people with about 20 qualifying medical conditions to use marijuana with the recommendation and approval by a physician. Stores will be able to sell cannabis plant material, patches, tinctures and oils.
Lakewood, Beavercreek, Troy and Piqua recently passed six-month moratoriums on licensing businesses and Rocky River, Lancaster, Lima and Liberty Township in Southwest Ohio are working on similar temporary bans.
One city has gone so far as to ban all legal marijuana operations. Hamilton, in Butler County, passed its ban in February 2015, months in advance of that year's recreational marijuana measure qualifying for the ballot.