Source – https://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/2019/01/10/medical-marijuana-ohio-dispensaries-open-card-holders-caregivers-only/2500203002/
Marijuana tourism has become an industry unto itself in states such as Nevada and California, where marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use.
Some travel agencies even offer cannabis getaways to Denver, Las Vegas and other cities, where party buses heading to dispensaries for cannabis tours have become a common sight.
Marijuana retail outlets have even teamed with restaurants and wineries to offer “weed-and-wine” or “eats-and-edibles” tastings in on-site consumption lounges.
But the party stops at Ohio’s border.
Only registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers and a select group of industry employees and regulators will be allowed to peek behind the curtain at any of the 56 retail dispensaries gearing up to sell medical marijuana in Ohio.
“No person, except a dispensary employee, or a cultivator or processor employee who is delivering medical marijuana, shall be allowed in the dispensary department without an active qualifying patient or caregiver registration issued by the state board of pharmacy,” according to dispensary access rules under the Ohio Administrative Code.
However, the rules allow non-registered visitors accompanying patients or caregivers with medical marijuana IDs to sign in and wait in supervised, designated waiting areas.
“If you need someone to drive you to our dispensary, we’re not going to make them wait in the car, unless they want to,” said Sara Presler, who owns Debbie’s Dispensary in Hillsboro, one of seven dispensaries in the Cincinnati area in various stages of readiness.
In addition, third-party service personnel, such as plumbers, technicians and utility workers, can access dispensary areas that don’t contain medical marijuana as long as they log in and are accompanied by a dispensary employee.
But if you’re a looky-loo just trying to sneak a peek behind the scenes or a former stoner wanting to relive you past life hanging out in a head shop with Bob Marley on the radio – forget about it.
“We’re here to serve patients and their caregivers. It’s not a place to have a party,’’ Presler said. “Having said that, though, a dispensary should be a happy and welcoming place. It’s definitely a place to find joy and relief.’’
Initially, only dried flower, or bud, will be available at a limited number of dispensaries.
But eventually most dispensaries will offer a variety of products and services, including wellness counseling as well as variety of marijuana-infused edibles, oils, tinctures and other products designed to treat up to 21 qualifying medical conditions.
While no Ohio dispensaries will look and operate exactly the same, there are certain things you can expect at all of them.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT DISPENSARIES
1. In addition to a registered medical marijuana ID, dispensary customers will also be required to present a driver’s license, passport or other government ID to access the part of the dispensary where medical marijuana products are displayed and sold.
2. The dispensaries are required to have well-labeled, tamper-proof containers with descriptions of their products, including the strain, cannabinoid profile and concentration levels of THC – the active ingredient in marijuana that gets you high.
3. All dispensary products sold must be placed in an plain opaque package that doesn’t reveal the contents or otherwise indicate the package may contain medical marijuana.
4. Dispensary sales will be cash-only, and patients and caregivers will be allowed to buy up to a 90-day supply on each visit.
5. While marijuana flower, or bud, will be sold alongside other products at the dispensaries, smoking marijuana is strictly prohibited. And no medical marijuana products can be consumed on-site at the dispensaries.