Cincinnati-tested marijuana-based epilepsy drug first to get FDA approval; more news

Epidiolex, which was tested by researchers at UC Health, is the first drug containing marijuana to be approved by the FDA

Hello all! The dust is finally settled. Budget season is over. And as Cincinnati Council members pack their bags to go wherever it is they go on their council recess, I’m here with a news update.

First off, what ended up in council’s final budget? You can read our story breaking it all down here — including a veto by Mayor John Cranley that council may override when it comes back in August.

• Other stuff from City Hall yesterday: Mayor John Cranley revealed 13 recommendations for the 17-member board overseeing the construction of FC Cincinnati’s West End soccer stadium. Here’s the full list:

—  Amber Potts, executive board member of the West End Community Council

—   Galen Gordon, a manager at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza downtown

—   Kimberly Hale-McCarty, Chief Operations Officer at real estate developer ASK Development

—   Noah James O’Brien, an executive board member of the West End Community Council and Vice President of the Betts-Longworth Historic District Group

—   Marquicia Jones-Woods, director of Q-Kidz dance team

—   Nick Johnson, CEO of West End Lil Senators Youth Athletic Club, which is likely to get funding under the FC Cincinnati CBA

—   Michael Turner, principal of Taft High School

—   Jeff Pastor, Cincinnati City Councilman

—   Mike Moroski, Cincinnati Public School Board member

—   Jessica Powell, vice president of the Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation

—   Gregory Johnson, CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority

—   Pastor Larry Nick Burnett, pastor at House of Hope Fellowship Church in Over-the-Rhine

—   Stephen Bluth

• Residents of Hawaiian Terrace in Mount Airy must travel six miles across town to Corryville to pick up their mail after the post office suspended mail delivery there. The suspension came after a June 13 attack against a mail carrier, post office officials say. Police say that employee reported being punched multiple times by multiple people before he used mace to fend them off. The postal service says it has no plans yet to resume service, though it will meet with representatives from Hawaiian Terrace soon. The stoppage has caused problems, Mount Airy Community Council says.

"Because of the sheer volume of residents on Hawaiian Terrace, this of course, has created quite a bit of confusion," the council says. "The Corryville post office is not staffed to handle the influx of residents, and many residents are without transportation to retrieve their mail — some which includes critical medication."

• An epilepsy drug tested by a University of Cincinnati researcher has become the first in the U.S. made from the marijuana plant to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Michael Privitera, director at the UC Health Gardner Neuroscience Institute’s Epilepsy Center, ran the clinical tests on the drug Epidiolex. The results of those stringent trials were so good that the FDA gave approval for its use, despite marijuana’s status as a schedule-one controlled substance. That means the government generally believes it has no therapeutic use. Though scientists aren’t certain how the drug works, tests showed that it significantly reduced seizures in trial patients. Epidiolex could be available by the end of this year.

• After some goading by Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, Hamilton City Schools will arm staff members, district officials say. Earlier this week, Jones purchased billboards reading “Hamilton School Board: Safe??? Secure?? Transparent?” because he felt the district and others in the county weren’t moving fast enough on safety measures. The push to arm school staff has been incredibly controversial around the nation, and Jones’ push has angered some. Hamilton City Schools officials say a meeting earlier this week with Jones was “very positive and productive” and that he approved of other measures  the district has taken to ensure safety in the wake of numerous school shootings across the country.

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