Ohio bans CBD sales outside medical marijuana dispensaries

Ohio health officials have declared that over-the-counter CBD sales in the state are illegal, despite the products’ widespread availability in grocery and health stores.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy said that CBD is legal only from state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, though none has opened yet, according to The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

The CBD ruling came after Ohio’s provisional dispensary licensees asked whether they could sell the same CBD products in their stores that are seen on the shelves at health and grocery stores, board spokeswoman Ali Simon told the newspaper.

The answer: No.

“Until dispensaries are operational, no one … may possess or sell CBD oil or other marijuana-related products,” according to the notice.

The CBD order has been sent to all Ohio pharmacists and licensed prescribers, including hospitals, as well as law enforcement and the pharmacy board’s field agents, Simon said.

Ohio approved medical marijuana in 2016, though regulatory delays have meant that MMJ dispensaries may not open until 2019.

It was not immediately clear how Ohio planned to enforce its CBD limit, given the products’ widespread availability.

The attorney general in neighboring Indiana made a similar CBD ruling last year, only to see product seizures put on hold until the state Legislature could adjust the law to allow CBD sales outside dispensaries.

Michigan regulators have also said that CBD products are legal only within the the medical marijuana regulatory framework, a decision that has driven CBD producers out of state.