For years, medical cannabis advocates have struggled to make lawmakers acknowledge the medicinal and therapeutic benefits not just of the marijuana plant as a whole, but also of its active components: cannabinoids like THC and the non-psychoactive CBD (cannabidiol). CBD especially has been stranded in a legal grey area, with products sourced from hemp enjoying broad legality while marijuana-derived CBD remains illicit. But when Ohio passed its medical marijuana legislation in 2016, advocates succeeded in gaining official recognition of marijuana’s value as a medicine. Instead of having the effect of expanding access to CBD products, however, Ohio’s medical cannabis legislation has made once-legal CBD products mostly illegal. And officials say CBD users could now face criminal charges.
Ohio Board of Pharmacy Says CBD Is Medical Marijuana
On Monday, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy announced that the state’s medical marijuana law, HB 523, applies to all marijuana-related products, including CBD. Cannabidiol, the board said, falls under the law’s definition of medical marijuana. And this means that all marijuana products including CBD, even if they do not contain THC as is often the case, can only be sold at licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Furthermore, all products must provide the known source and