Ohio Medical Marijuana Program
Ohio is the 25th state to pass it’s medical marijuana laws. Half of the country’s states now have access to medical marijuana. Two months ago Gov. John Kasich signed the medical marijuana legislation into law. The program is not yet operational, but it’s expected to be up and running within the next year or two.
The medical marijuana laws go into effect on September 8th in OH. However, dispensaries will not be open for another year or two. While Ohio patients wait for dispensaries to open up, there’s a chance they can get marijuana from neighboring states with medical marijuana laws. Three different government agencies will run the medical marijuana program created under these statutes.
How to obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio
So far the application process has yet to begin but what we do know is you’ll need a debilitating medical condition that qualifies. You will also need a doctor to confirm that you have one of the conditions that qualifies for the states medical marijuana program.
Who Qualifies for Medical Marijuana in Ohio?
The list of qualifying conditions in Ohio includes:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
- Crohn’s Disease
- Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Chronic or Intractable Pain
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Sick Cell Anemia
- Spinal Cord Disease or injury
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ulcerative Colitis
Can the List of Qualifying Conditions be Added to?
Any other disease or condition can be added by the state medical board under section 4731.302 of the Revised Code.
Where can Ohio Patients get Medical Marijuana?
Until dispensaries open up in OH patients will have to try a neighboring state like Michigan for a legal selection of marijuana products. Michigan has no dispensaries just many caregivers who can all have up to five patients. If there are enough caregivers in Michigan, there is a chance Ohio patients will be able to receive their medicine there and bring it back.
There is also a significant loophole in Ohio’s marijuana laws that makes access to marijuana a bit easier but not safer. According to Sen. Dave Burke, a Marysville Republican who fought for the OH medical marijuana laws to pass, patients can get marijuana from any source. This includes buying marijuana from drug dealers in the state. The state law intentionally neglects to mention where patients can obtain their marijuana so patients can sooner receive their medicine. This law only applies to patients who have already received a certificate to smoke medical marijuana from their doctor. 60 days after dispensaries open in OH patients will no longer be allowed to receive their marijuana from any source.
The Future of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Program
Ohio’s medical marijuana program is still being set up by the State Board of Pharmacy. It will take some time to set up what marijuana products will be sold in the state of Ohio. Until the program is fully functional, it is unlikely that doctors will be recommending marijuana to their patients. After Sept. 8th we should have a better understanding of what the Ohio Medical Marijuana Program has to offer.