Ohio’s Ninth District Court of Appeals has affirmed a decision to suspend the license of an Avon Lake pharmacist for violating Ohio’s medical marijuana laws by providing homemade marijuana laced gummy bears to employees.
In an 11-page decision, the appellate court voted 3-0 to uphold a Dec. 18 decision of the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to revoke the license of Christopher Jaroscak.
According to the decision, Jaroscak had worked as a pharmacist for 10 years prior to obtaining his medical marijuana license, accepting a position at a Canton dispensary called The Botanist.
An investigation revealed he had provided four employees with homemade marijuana edibles, resulting in his termination.
The appeals court rejected two assignments of error in which Jaroscak argued Lorain County Common Pleas Court abused its discretion in the case.
The court overruled claims that there was no evidence he provided THC products to individual No.1 and individual No. 4.
Jaroscak argued the court gave little to no consideration that the Ohio Board of Pharmacy relied on hearsay evidence in reaching their decision to suspend his license.
In a hearing before the Board on Dec. 10, 2020, Jaroscak invoked his fifth amendment rights against self-incrimination.
However, he acknowledged he had become dependent on marijuana, and asked the board to render a decision enabling him to continue seeking treatment and eventually return to practicing as a pharmacist.
According to documents from his initial Jan. 2, 2021, appeal, Jaroscak admitted to providing the products to employees and using marijuana to relieve anxiety, but also admitted he was not a registered medical marijuana patient.
An agent acting on behalf of the Board confiscated several items from Jaroscak’s residence: a Mason jar; glass beakers; silicone gummy bear molds; marijuana-plant material; manufactured finished products containing THC; packaging materials; and drug paraphernalia including bowls, pipes, digital scales and grinders.
Jaroscak was found in violation of the several sections of Ohio Revised Code: illegal cultivation of marijuana; committed in the vicinity of a juvenile; endangering children; trafficking in marijuana and/or trafficking in hashish; and possession of controlled substances.
The Board determined Jaroscak engaged in unprofessional conduct in the practice of pharmacy in revoking his license.