Deadline will pass, but safety is critical

If you are waiting for medical marijuana to be available in Ohio this summer, don’t hold your breath. In a front-page story today, the state admitted Ohio-grown pot-based medicines won’t be available by the deadline written into law in September 2016.

State residents were supposed to be able to buy medicinal marijuana by Sept. 8. But getting the alloted number of licensed growers, plus processors, distributors and dispensaries is going to take more time. Monday, the state finally awarded 56 dispensary permits.

Before that happened, rules had to be drafted, and those applying to be part of the supply chain had to be investigated. That process involved three state agencies and a commission appointed by the governor. That’s a lot of red tape before things can start getting a green light.

Sure, two years should have been enough time to get that accomplished. But with medical marijuana, it’s important to get it right.

So, the Sept. 8 deadline will pass before medicinal marijuana is available. As long as the system for handling it is safe and secure, the delay will be worthwhile.