Obtaining Medical Marijuana

by Spencer Robbins

As of 2016, Medical Marijuana was legalized across the great State of Ohio with the passage of House Bill 523. The known benefits of Medical Marijuana are rising as the Ohio Medical Board has so far approved its medicinal use to treat a total of 21 conditions. As such, for those who have one or more of these conditions, it is important to know how to obtain medical marijuana in Ohio.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP) has broken down the process into three easy steps. To get started, one must have one of the 21 qualifying conditions approved by the Ohio Medical Board. An exhaustive list can be found on the OMMCP’s website which is listed at the bottom of this article. If you have one of the qualifying conditions, you will have to meet with a certified physician to get a recommendation for medical marijuana. Ohio requires all physicians who are recommending medical marijuana to patients to carry a Certificate to Recommend. If you are unsure whether your physician is certified, the OMMCP’s website has a list of all certified physicians.

Once you have met with a recommending certified physician, you will be entered into a registry and sent an email prompting you to log into your profile. After you login, you will have to complete an application and pay the annual registration fee of $50. It is through your online profile where you will be able to download your official Ohio medical marijuana card.

After obtaining your medical marijuana card, the final step is to find a dispensary that is licensed by the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy. The OMMCP’s website has a list of all licensed dispensaries in the State of Ohio. At the dispensary, staff will counsel you on the type and dosage of marijuana needed to treat your condition.

There are also some additional considerations to be made before applying for a medical marijuana card.  While medical marijuana is certainly legal in Ohio, it does not mean that properly registered medical marijuana users have free reign to use marijuana as they please. Registered users will be required to have a state patient card readily available, purchase products from state-approved dispensaries, possess no more than a 90-day supply, keep products in original containers, use approved methods of consumption, which excludes smoking, refrain from growing marijuana at home and refrain from operating a vehicle, aircraft or watercraft while impaired.

It is also important to note that it is currently unclear how registering for the state program will affect medical marijuana user’s daily lives. For instance, marijuana is still illegal under federal law and employers will still be able to fire employees who use medical marijuana. As such, prospective medical marijuana users should consider how registering for the state medical marijuana program might affect them.

Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program’s Website:  http://www.medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov

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