LUCAS COUNTY (WTOL) - Just hours after learning about Ohio's 56 medical marijuana dispensary licenses with six of them moving into our area, there's a delay.
Tuesday the state announced the drug will not be available for sale on September 8th as originally planned. The announcement that a medical marijuana dispensary was headed close to Mandy Lehman's neighborhood brought hope to her and her family.
"If there is something out there that can help with the symptoms it gives us a chance to live more like everyone else," said Mandy Lehman, a West Toledo resident.
Mandy was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease in 2013 at the age of 34. Her rare disease causes several health issues and symptoms like severe fatigue, breathing issues, seizures, chronic pain and more. She believes medical marijuana could help her and other patients who are suffering too. She was discouraged after hearing about the pushback on the sale of medical marijuana.
"It breaks my heart because it's something that can really make an impact on your lives and improves their quality of life," explained Lehman.
The Ohio Department of Commerce says the setback comes as cultivators have had inspection delays making it hard to get their product on the shelves by September 8th. That date was set back in 2016 when Ohio made it a law.
The state's current attorney general and candidate for governor Mike DeWine says he thinks there were glitches in the rollout from the governor's office, but expects it will be done.
"Marijuana is the law of the State of Ohio and what's important now I think is that it be done correctly, that it be done with controls, that we not have a situation where some of it is diverted for illegal purposes so all these things are very very important," said Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General and candidate for Governor.
While there has not been a date released, officials from the state department of commerce are hoping to begin sales of medical marijuana as soon as possible.
"Every day that a patient goes without something that can help their disease is a day that they go without treatment," said Mandy Lehman.
Mandy says she plans to talk to her doctor about medical marijuana and hopes the stigma will change as it becomes as option for Ohioans sometime in the future.