Employers encouraged to decide medical marijuana policy now

A CBD product available in Florida is pictured. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the marijuana-based medicine.(Photo: Olivia Vanni/Naples Daily News)

CHILLICOTHE – If you’re a business that hasn’t yet created a policy regarding how you will treat medical marijuana in the workplace, do it now.

That was the message Allison Sharer brought to dozens of local employers gathered at the PACCAR Medical Education Center Thursday for a Ross County Safety Council program on the pending September implementation of provisions of a state law legalizing medical marijuana in Ohio.

“It is in your best interest as an employer to ensure that you get this decision that question mark resolved by September, and I mean in a formal way with policy and documents, etcetera,” said Sharer, of Canal Winchester-based Working Partners.

Working Partners provides drug-free workplace programs and consulting services. The organization had made a similar presentation in Ross County two years ago regarding things employers should begin thinking about when medical marijuana would become fully operational in the state. 

“I think what’s changed (between then and now) is that the reality is right here,” Sharer told the Gazette, holding a hand directly in front of her face. “So folks are asking deeper questions. I love that old quote, ‘I’m as confused as ever, but I’m confused at a higher level about more important things.’ I think that’s happening very much on this issue.”

The medical marijuana control program, as House Bill 523, was established in September of 2016, shortly after Working Partners’ last presentation in Ross County. It has reached various milestones in preparing for launch, such as creating rules for cultivators, processors, and dispensaries, among others, since then, and it is set to become fully operational in September of this year.

That means

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