Council hearing for medical marijuana set

Ordinance bans cultivation, processing; allows one dispensary

By Melanie Yingst -

TROY — Troy resident Aimee Shannon has lived with inexplicable pain since she was 7 years old.

Now in her 40s, the social worker who has been placed on disability has been an outspoken supporter of medical marijuana to allow at least one dispensary in her hometown.

Troy City Council will hold a public hearing on whether to allow medical marijuana dispensary in the business highway district in Troy at its regular meeting at 7 p.m. today at City Hall. A public hearing will also be held to ban cultivation and processing of medical marijuana within the city limits.

In state news, earlier this month the Ohio Board of Pharmacy recently released its first draft of rules for dispensaries, adding more dispensaries from 40 up to 60, extended hours and no longer requiring pharmacists to be on call or on site. The first draft of rules also dropped the permit fee to $70,000 every two years, bans coupons or discounts and allows for more access to advertise.

Current rules allow one person 6 ounces of marijuana every three months.

Shannon shared how medical marijuana is likely the last medication to help her cope with the list of ailments and diagnosis, which included fibromyalgia, gastric and cardiovascular disorders, endocrine system issues and other physical ailments, which often left her bedridden. Following two heart attacks, Shannon had to put her career as a social work on pause to regain her health. She hopes with the use of medical marijuana she can return to full-time employment and is currently volunteering at Health Partners and Partners in Hope now that she is feeling better — thanks to alternative therapy.

Shannon said she has never used marijuana in her life. She shared how she has found more pain relief in the last year with the use of CBD oils extracted from the hemp plant. By using the alternative therapies like the CBD oil, she’s reduced her medications down to only five prescriptions, mostly related to heart conditions. Shannon shared that the alternative therapy has also made her more mobile in the last year than any other prescribed medication over the last three decades of her life.

“I got involved because what is it someone’s right to tell me that I cannot have access to medication or not,” Shannon said.

Shannon shared that she doesn’t feel she should have to travel to other cities such as Huber Heights (which has not enacted a moratorium) to access a prescribed medication from her physician.

According to the medical marijuana board of Ohio, dispensary rules are expected to be in place by Sept. 8, 2017, and for medical marijuana dispensaries to be fully operational one year later.

Last month, the Troy Planning Commission voted to recommend one medical marijuana dispensary in the B-4 Highway Business District.

The commission also recommended a complete ban of cultivators and processors of medical marijuana as a separate issue to be presented to council.

Council voted to extend the moratorium on medical marijuana on Nov. 7. The second 180-day moratorium will expire July 13, 2017.

The restrictions include no dispensaries located within 500 feet of churches, schools, playgrounds and libraries.

Shannon said she’s not in favor of recreational marijuana, which she believes their campaign has tainted the image of medical marijuana when it failed to pass a few years ago.

“I’ve done the chiropractor, the massage, the physical therapies and talk therapy to deal with (the pain). I have a psychiatrist to deal with the pain. I do all of those things,” Shannon said. “I’ve tried everything. Everything. I can’t deal with all the major side effects (of prescribed opioid or pain medication). I have an M.D. that’s very open minded. She’s willing to work with me and we’ve tried to work on all sorts of different things. This may or may not work for me, but who is to say I can’t get medication that is legally prescribed to me. I find that offensive, really. That’s my right.”

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Commission recently announced that Ohio residents will have to pay $50 a year to the state for a patient card under its proposed rules released last month.

Medical marijuana can be dispensed in the form of edibles, oils, patches and vaporizing.

The Board of Pharmacy, Department of Commerce and State Medical Board are in charge of the medical marijuana program.

Patients qualify if they have the following conditions: HIV/AIDS; Alzheimer’s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); cancer; chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); Crohn’s disease; epilepsy or another seizure disorder; fibromyalgia; glaucoma; hepatitis C; inflammatory bowel disease; multiple sclerosis; pain that is chronic, severe, and intractable; Parkinson’s disease; post traumatic stress disorder; sickle cell anemia; spinal cord disease or injury; Tourette’s syndrome; traumatic brain injury; and ulcerative colitis. Individuals can petition the state medical board to add conditions.

Other agenda items include the CHIP program partnership agreement with the county, Piqua and Tipp City as well as the application for Neal Farms Inc. to retain 105 acres in the agricultural district.

In other news: Finfrock Construction of Covington was awarded the waterline replacement program bid. The contract was awarded in the amount of $492,173. Council authorized the project for a bid not to exceed $500,000 Work is expected to begin this summer.

Ordinance bans cultivation, processing; allows one dispensary

By Melanie Yingst

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews