Medical pot panel in Ohio ending run with marathon session

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio House panel contemplating ways to legalize medical marijuana is wrapping up its business with a marathon session.

Republican Rep. Kirk Schuring, of Canton, chairs the task force. He said 40 witnesses were scheduled Thursday and testimony was expected to last into the evening.

The group was created after Ohio voters overwhelmingly defeated a sweeping ballot measure last fall that would’ve legalized cannabis for personal and medical use. Surveys at the time made clear most Ohioans favor medical marijuana.

Schuring says he’ll meet with House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger next week, and a proposed bill could come soon.

Separately Thursday, the Ohio Ballot Board cleared a medical-marijuana constitutional amendment as a single issue. Supporters now can begin gathering the roughly 306,000 needed signatures to get the proposal on 2016 ballots.