Medical Cannabis - Putnam Sentinel

PUTNAM COUNTY — On September 8, 2018, Ohio’s medical marijuana bill becomes fully operational. Just a few months away, the time for area businesses to become aware of the law and its impacts is now. This is why the Mental Health, Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Board of Putnam County will be offering a free training on the new law for area businesses.

The session will be provided on Thursday, May 10, from 8 - 9:30 a.m., at Henry’s Restaurant in Ottawa. Presented by Working Partners, the training will, “…discuss the law through a business lens, share protections the law affords employers, pose realistic scenarios for practical understanding, and offer a roadmap to begin navigating these decisions and actions,” according to a flier created by the agency. Interested businesses are asked to RSVP to the training by May 7 by calling: 419-523-0027.

“It’s going to effect every business differently,” says Jennifer Horstman, Executive Director of the Mental Health, Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Board of Putnam County. “That is why we are bringing in professionals. Working Partners has attorneys on staff. They are experts in the area of drug free workforce.”

According to Horstman, The training will provide, “An awareness of what [employers] need to do, and to have in place. There are probably employers who think, ‘It’s not going to affect me,’ or who won’t do anything. Then, when something happens, or when it comes up, they’ll be forced to think about it. This training lets business owners be prepared for getting something in place ahead of time, if they want to.”

The board has offered similar training before on creating a drug free workplace. When asked the difference between those previously offered trainings and this one on medical marijuana, Horstman says, “This is just focusing on medical marijuana law that will become fully effective on September 8.”

“The other trainings were for every gamut,” Horstman continues, “And, for writing a policy, having a full policy in effect. If [businesses] wanted to look at offering second chance, or are [they] going to fire employees, are [they] going to drug test. It

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was probably more comprehensive and more intense, and we can still help with those.”

“And, maybe the medical marijuana law training will be that initial step for some companies. It might help them start to think about putting that level of detail into their employee policies or updating their plans.”

According to Horstman, the training will include realistic scenarios that offer practical understandings to help begin that thought process. “You’re going to have schools that have to look at a student,” Horstman says. “A school might have a student with a [medical marijuana] prescription that has to be in school. But, the school is going to have to have one policy for that scenario, and then another policy for staff if they’re not allowed to have it.”

Cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, Crohn’s disease, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable - these and similarly devastating conditions will qualify a person for relief under Ohio’s medical marijuana law. No matter how a business might decide to approach the issue themselves, preparation will be important.