Marijuana Business This Week: Ohio eyes medical cannabis additions, Iowa MMJ fight, L.A. deadline & more

medical marijuana, Marijuana Business This Week: Ohio eyes medical cannabis additions, Iowa MMJ fight, L.A. deadline & more

Here are some notable stories and events in the cannabis industry to watch for in the coming days:

OHIO BOARD DELIBERATES: After tabling discussions last month about adding autism spectrum disorder and anxiety to the list of qualifying conditions for its medical marijuana program, the State Medical Board of Ohio is expected to resume deliberations at its meeting Wednesday.

The 12-member board rejected petitions to include depression, insomnia and opioid-use disorder in the MMJ program, board spokeswoman Tessie Pollock told ideastream.org.

However, the board deferred the vote on anxiety and autism spectrum disorder pending further review, she said.

There are already more than 20 conditions approved for marijuana treatment in Ohio, and doctors can petition the board to add other conditions. Anxiety and autism were just two of 110 petitions submitted this year for the board’s consideration.

VOICE FOR MMJ PATIENTS: Undaunted by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds’ veto of an expansion of Iowa’s medical cannabis program, state Sen. Joe Bolkcom and state Rep. John Forbes, both Democrats, will urge their GOP colleagues to authorize an interim study on the needs of MMJ patients when the Legislative Council meets Thursday, The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette reported.

Forbes and Bolkcom led an unsuccessful attempt to override Reynolds’ veto, and they are now calling for the interim study to be convened so pain sufferers in need of relief can be heard.

Bolkcom expressed concern that Illinois’ recent legalization of adult-use cannabis and expansion of its medical program will put Iowa’s five medical cannabis dispensaries at risk, The Gazette reported.

Reynolds vetoed a bill that would have lifted the 3% cap on the potency of medical marijuana products available in the state, saying it went beyond the recommendations of medical experts. The bill was approved overwhelmingly in both legislative chambers.

SHAPING SOCIAL EQUITY: Friday is the deadline for bids to be submitted to the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) as it searches for consultants to help shape what is thought to be the largest municipal marijuana social equity program in the nation.

The agency is seeking “consultants to develop and conduct business development curriculum, training, business, licensing and compliance assistance, and related services to support applicants and licensees eligible” for the program, according to a news release.

The DCR is currently prevetting applicants for the social equity program to ensure that those awarded licenses meet certain criteria. That process began May 28 and lasts until July 29.

Contracts will be awarded starting next month.

GIVING BACK: A company that helps people get a doctor’s recommendation for MMJ cards said it plans to offer pro bono services to veterans during the month of July, according to Springfield, Missouri, TV station KOLR.

The move could boost the number of vets purchasing MMJ by making it easier for them to receive a doctor’s recommendation.

Missouri Marijuana Card, the sister company of Ohio Marijuana Card, said it intends to open clinics in St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield by “mid-July.”

The clinics are staffed with physicians who are certified to recommend MMJ.

“As part of our launch, we wanted to give back to those that have served this country,” company president Connor Shore said in a prepared statement. “We’ve witnessed firsthand in Ohio how many veterans use medical marijuana to alleviate PTSD symptoms, but unfortunately, the lack of insurance coverage has made access prohibitively expensive for some.”

EXPIRING LICENSE SCORECARD: There are 137 cultivation licenses set to expire this week in California, according to an analysis of state license data by Marijuana Business Daily.