Medical dispensaries could become more regulated in Ohio
Medical marijuana companies in Ohio may need state approval before they switch owners if state legislators pass a new bill aimed at bringing more regulation to the industry.
That is just one of the new proposed rules the Ohio Board of Pharmacy has to help regulate the medical marijuana industry. While many of the rules should remain intact, state regulators are preventing new partners from entering medical marijuana businesses unless they get written approval from the board first.
Under the proposed rules, an option agreement will constitute a change of ownership if:
- An individual has made any payment to the dispensary or associated key employee of the dispensary without prior written approval of the board;
- An individual has. Entered into a licensing, consulting, or management agreement with the dispensary without prior written approval of the board;
- The optionee has the right to substantial control of the dispensary before the exercise of the option;
- The optionee has a right to any of the profits before the exercise of the option
A dispensary will also be allowed to enter into a consulting or management service agreement with an individual or any company, if approved by the board. Consulting and management must be based on a reasonably flat-rate fee. The fee cannot be based directly or indirectly on the amount of profit the dispensary generates. A manager will be considered exercising substantial control if he or she is engaging in two or more of the following activities:
- Providing payroll services;
- Providing accounting services;
- Installing and maintaining computer and phones;
- Providing marketing services;
- Training employees of the dispensary or provisional dispensary about customer service;
- Remotely monitoring security systems
According to members of the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, some consultants and managers have been taking advantage of dispensaries. Cincinnati.com found on situation where a consultant was paid 90% of the dispensary’s net profits.
Those interested in having their voices heard on the proposed rule changes for dispensaries have until 5 p.m. eastern time on January 10, 2020 to submit comments to MMCPRules@pharmacy.ohio.gov.
For those who are not authorized to receive medication through a dispensary, he or she can face tough penalties for illegally possessing marijuana. Those caught with less than 100 grams can face a minor misdemeanor charge with no jail time and up to $150 in maximum fines. Those caught with 100 to 200 grams of marijuana can face up to 30 days in jail and a $250 maximum fine. An individual with 201 to 999 grams of marijuana can be sentence to six months to a year in prison and pay up to $2,500 in fines. Anyone with 1,000 grams of marijuana can be subject to multiple years in prison and be forced to pay thousands of dollars in fines.
If you plan on entering the medical marijuana business or have been caught possessing marijuana illegally, an attorney can help you navigate the complex and tough legal system. Call a lawyer immediately if you are facing marijuana charges.