23 Sept 2016
Cleveland . com reported Wednesday that ” Ohio attorneys were assured Tuesday by the state’s high court they could assist medical marijuana clients under the new law.”
Here’s the report
A non-binding advisory opinion issued in August suggested Ohio lawyers couldn’t advise medical marijuana businesses and patients under the state’s professional conduct standards because the substance remains illegal federally.
The Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday amended the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct to clarify attorneys’ ethical responsibilities under the new law:
“A lawyer may counsel or assist a client regarding conduct expressly permitted under Sub.H.B. 523 of the 131st General Assembly authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes and any state statutes, rules, orders, or other provisions implementing the act. In these circumstances, the lawyer shall advise the client regarding related federal law.”
The court accelerated the rule change because of the uncertainty around Ohio and federal law, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said.
Ohio’s medical marijuana law took effect Sept. 8, but it could take two years for dispensaries to open. The law allows patients with about 20 medical conditions to buy and use marijuana if recommended by their doctor.
“Ohio attorneys seeking guidance needed to know the do’s and don’ts as quickly as possible,” O’Connor said in a news release.