By Derrick Stanley
Sen. Dave Burke, an originator of Ohio's new medical marijuana law, predicts that marijuana plants could be growing legally in Ohio in a year.
“As soon as 16 months, you would have products tested and available,” the Marysville Republican said.
House Bill 523, the medical marijuana law, completed a difficult journey through the legislature Wednesday. It is now headed to Gov. John Kasich.
Kasich has not indicated whether he will sign the bill into law. He could veto it or allow it to take effect without his signature.
“We expect to receive a number of bills over the next couple of weeks, and we’re going to carefully review each one of them,” Kasich spokesman Joe Andrews said. The governor, a Republican, has expressed general support for medical marijuana but has not addressed the specific bill.
If Kasich signs the bill, it will establish an extensive, regulated system for growing, processing, testing and dispensing marijuana for people with any of 20 specified medical diseases and conditions. Patients could receive a 90-day supply of marijuana edibles, patches, oils and plant material. Vaporizing marijuana would be permitted, but smoking it would not.
Burke said the legislation does not establish specific numbers for marijuana growers, processors and dispensaries.