SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — After a warning from a Ohio State Board of Pharmacy official, Dr. Joshua Hayes, owner of Garden Grove Holistic in Shawnee Township, said he still plans on selling CBD products derived from hemp.
In late August, the board released its interpretation of Ohio law that bans sales of non-psychoactive CBD, or cannabidiol. Hayes said the state is trying to claim a monopoly on CBD as it is the primary agent in Ohio’s medical marijuana products.
“They’re just trying to go out and intimidate,” Hayes said. “What I would like to do is let everyone know that hemp is not marijuana. That it is legal and that CBD is legal to process.”
In its release, the board clarified CBD is an illegal substance unless patients receive the compound from a state-licensed dispensary through its medical marijuana program. But Hayes argued that national laws say otherwise, and the board is overstepping its bounds as an executive agency.
Patient-Caregiver Liaison Grant Miller with the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy said it is currently working to make sure stores and other CBD distributors are aware of the state’s legal definition of CBD. At the moment, the board’s efforts are informational, he said, and the agency is currently relying on store owners to stop selling the product when they learn how the state is interpreting CBD’s legality.
Hayes said the state’s medical marijuana program is too restrictive, however, to adequately serve individuals who could use CBD as a benefit. Not everyone who uses the compound, he said, are ill, and under the state’s medical marijuana bill, those looking for a medical marijuana recommendation need to visit a physician certified to do so.
No doctors in Lima are currently certified by the state’s pharmaceutical board to recommend medical marijuana. The closest is located in Botkins.
“You don’t have to be sick to benefit from it,” Hayes said. “It’s legal if it has less than .3 percent THC, which is the psychoactive substance found in cannabis. It’s non-psychoactive. It doesn’t make you high, but it does have some other effects on the body by bringing the body into homeostasis.”
Ohio’s medical marijuana program was slated to go into effect Sept. 8, but delays in licensing has slowed down the process. Some cultivators are currently growing the product, Miller said, but the state is now relying on licensees to bring the program to patients, which could still take a few months.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.