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 Casich signed the medical marijuana legislation into law. The program is not operational, yet, 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 marijuana program created under these statutes.
How to obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio
So far the application progress has to begin but you will 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.
Which Condition Qualifies for Medical Marijuana?
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 actually open their door in OH, patients will have to try neighboring states 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, however, a loophole in Ohio’s marijuana laws which could make it easier to access marijuana but not safer. According to Sen. Dave burke, a Marysville Republican who fought for the OH medical marijuana laws to pass, patients can get their marijuana from any source. This includes buying marijuana from drug dealers as well. The state law intentionally neglects to mention where patients can obtain their marijuana in order to receive it sooner. This law only applies to patients who have already received a certificate to smoke medical marijuana from their doctor. After the dispensaries open in OH, after 60 days, patients will no longer be allowed to receive their marijuana from any source.
Future of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Program
Ohio’s marijuana program is still in the process of 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 recommend marijuana to their patients.