Bookmark this page on your mobile

QR Code image

What is this?

Daily Court Reporter - News As Ohio implements medical marijuana law, OSU, Battelle ramp up research efforts


As Ohio implements medical marijuana law, OSU, Battelle ramp up research efforts

BRANDON KLEIN, Daily Reporter Staff Writer

As Ohio continues to implement its new medical marijuana law, some central Ohio institutions have launched research projects to tackle the policy and science aspects of the law.

The Ohio State University announced it will establish the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, or DEPC, with a $4.5 million gift from the Charles Koch Foundation.

The announcement came a day after local research giant Battelle announced it received a license from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to research marijuana at the nonprofit institute's Center for Substance Use Research.

"Most of the marijuana research done in the U.S. is kind of just survey research," said Erica Peters, Battelle's director of marijuana research.

Gov. John Kasich signed the state's medical marijuana law in the summer of 2016. The law went into effect in September.

The law allows people with conditions such as cancer and epilepsy to buy and use marijuana per a doctor's recommendation. It doesn't allow the smoking of marijuana.

With the program expected to be operational by next fall, Ohio has chosen the first 11 cultivators, according to the Associated Press. These are the smaller growers that can cultivate up to 3,000 square feet. A 12th smaller cultivator could be selected later.

Among those selected last week, the top-scoring applicant was Fire Rock Ltd., which applied for locations in Columbus, Akron and Canton.

The state is slated to announce next month an additional dozen growers that can operate facilities up to 25,000 square feet in size.

Ohio received 185 total applications that were evaluated for their business plans, operations, security and finances.

Peters said receiving federal approval to research the drug is a plus since not many receive the license.

"Even for researchers that live in states where recreational marijuana use has been legalized, they still have to abide by federal regulations," she said.

Peters had studied marijuana-related research prior to joining Battelle three years ago. She joined with the intent to start the research institute's own marijuana research and had to adapt to the regulations.

"We had to do some construction on our clinical research facility ... to be in compliance with the drug enforcement administration guidelines," Peters said.

Construction started a year and half ago before Battelle applied for the license nine months ago. It received approval a few weeks ago, Peters said.

"What we're trying to do is more unique," she said.

Battelle wants to do more experimental research in a laboratory setting to understand how marijuana use impacts health.

The company has a "huge head start" as it has more than five decades worth of studying the effects of tobacco product use, Peters said.

Peters will be working with a 10-person research team that will include three other scientists.

The team will soon start two studies to obtain more funding from the National Institute of Health.

One study will examine the relationship between marijuana and tobacco usage while the other focuses on the health impacts from smoking marijuana "blunts."

The studies will have about 10 to 20 people, she said.

"We need to make sure that our research has meaning for what's happening at the state and federal level," she said.

On the policy side, Doug Berman, an Ohio State law professor, will lead DEPC at Ohio State, to develop interdisciplinary research, outreach and public engagement on the societal impacts surrounding legal reforms that prohibit or regulate the use and distribution of traditionally illicit drugs such as marijuana.

"Ohio is an incredible location to look at a range of problems not just as political bellwether but as a social and economic center of all kind of place" in the drug policy arena, Berman said.

At the same time medical marijuana is being implemented in the state, Ohio is dealing with an opioid crisis and therefore there's a need for more data.

Berman said there's no shortage of marijuana advocates who are in search of data to support their positions despite the lack of unbiased research over prior decades.

"Too often its the advocates who are dominating the conversation," he said.

DEPC may look at issues such as whether to allow those convicted of selling marijuana to participate in a now legalized system, why arrest rates for marijuana possession in areas where it's legal go up or down and raid costs of facilities.

Berman wants to obtain the quantitative and qualitative data surrounding how the drug war and drug enforcement policies have affected Americans over the past half-century and wants to have discussions law enforcement and industry players.

The next step for DEPC will be to hire new faculty members for John Glenn College of Public Affairs and College of Social Work.

"We'll be able to hit the ground running in the next academic year," Berman said.

Date Published: November 27, 2017


Copyright © 2017 The Daily Reporter - All Rights Reserved


Big Four partnering with University of Dayton for internship opportunities

Big Four accounting firm EY is partnering with the University of Dayton to prepare students for the corporate world and provide them internship opportunities.

Dayton men’s basketball return home to host Akron

Looking to get back on track, the University of Dayton Flyers host the Akron Zips on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. ET.

Fiona’s Feelings book for babies in Cincinnati stores

Baby hippo Fiona’s face is all over a new board book, Fiona’s Feelings, by Blue Manatee Press owner and pediatrician Dr. John Hutton. Photographs of Fiona included in the book show her “expressing” various feelings, such as “happy,” “sad” and “scared.”.

"Send Them Home Saturday" pet adoption event - November 25th

The Montgomery County Animal Resource Center (ARC) is holding its annual ‘Send Them Home Saturday’ pet adoption event on November 25th. In addition, Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery, located at 502 East 5th Street in Dayton, is generously sponsoring this event!

Sinclair Bookstore: After Thanksgiving appreciation sale

Stop by the Bookstore November 27 - December 1 for savings!

Sinclair announces FlexPace online program for students

SinclairOnline announces that the academic program known as Accelerate is changing its name to better reflect the flexibility possible to complete a credential at a pace that fits a student’s lifestyle. The new name is FlexPace.

Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine offers training for treatment of opioid addiction

Licensed physicians, certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants who want to prescribe buprenorphine for office-based treatment of opioid use disorder can attend free waiver training Dec. 19-20 at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine.

WSU’s Raiderthon raises $45,695.21 for Dayton Children’s Hospital

Wright State University students raised $45,695.21 for Dayton Children’s Hospital during Raiderthon, Wright State’s fifth annual dance marathon, in the Student Union Apollo Room.

Fifth annual Raiderthon raising funds for Dayton Children’s Hospital

Wright State students can let loose, dance for hours, have fun, make new friends and watch great entertainment, all for a good cause.

Montgomery County to increase water and sewer rates beginning 2018

On Jan. 1, 2018, Montgomery County Environmental Services will initiate an approximate 14% combined rate increase for average residential water and sewer bills in Montgomery County, Ohio. An average Montgomery County residential customer pays about $170 per quarter for water and sewer service, and the rate increase will add about $24 to their quarterly bill in 2018.

Two healthy manatees return to Florida and three arrive in Cincinnati for rehab

Last month, popular manatees Betsy and BamBam left the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden to return to Florida waters. This is good news for the species but bittersweet for divers, care team members and visitors who have become attached to the charismatic animals, especially long-time resident Betsy.

UD football closes out 2017 season at Valparaiso

The University of Dayton, 5-5 overall and 4-3 in the Pioneer Football League, plays its final regular season game of 2017 Saturday at Valparaiso. The Crusaders are also 5-5 and 4-3.

Special report provides guidance to local governments on detecting, deterring thefts of citizen payments

Thieving public employees who capitalize on lax oversight have pocketed millions of dollars from transactions with citizens over past decade, according to a special report released recently by Auditor of State Dave Yost.

Bill would end practice of suspending driving privileges for non-driving offenses

A bipartisan lawmaker duo seeks to upend Ohio courts' practice of suspending an offender's driving privileges in instances in which the offense is unrelated to driving or using the vehicle in a criminal manner.

Gym tax-break plan favors non-profits, shrinks tax base, opponents say

House lawmakers seated on the Ways and Means Committee recently heard concerns of individuals who say a plan to make tax exempt gym memberships at facilities operated by charitable, non-profit groups will harm business at for-profit gyms and local governments' bottom lines.

Supreme Court of Ohio heard oral arguments last week, including whether a guardian can be appointed for an adult without notice

The Ohio Supreme Court heard three oral arguments Tuesday, November 21st, including a one made by a woman contesting the appointment of a guardian ad-litem for her right before her divorce proceedings went to trial.

Former postal supervisor from Akron sentenced to three years in prison for stealing a kilo of methamphetamine out of the mail

Two former U.S. Postal employees were sentenced to prison for stealing packages containing marijuana from the U.S. mail and then selling the drugs, said U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman.

House bill clarifies point at which speed limits become enforceable

Ohio motorists who wonder exactly when a posted speed limit change becomes effective may have a more concrete answer if a House bill clears both houses of the Ohio Legislature and makes it to Gov. John Kasich's desk.

Ohio's mineral resources valued at more than $1.6 billion in 2016

Ohio’s mineral resources produced more than $1.6 billion worth of geologic commodities in 2016, according to a newly released report from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The total value of all nonfuel industrial minerals exceeded $1 billion for the third straight year.

Despite health care costs, workforce issues, Ohio business leaders optimistic

The cost of health care keeps some business leaders in central Ohio up at night.