Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Ohio?

Medical marijuana has been legal in Ohio ever since the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program was established following Ohio House Bill 523, signed into law in fall of 2016.

However, at the time of the bill's signing, a mere 21 medical conditions were approved for treatment with medical marijuana. Though the list is fairly comprehensive, it leaves out common ailments treatable with MMJ, like insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

 

Thankfully, Ohio's medical marijuana law did factor that patients might want to add more medical conditions to the current list. As a result, each year the State of Ohio will open a petition page so that patients can apply to have more medical conditions added. The petition period for 2019 will take place from November 1st - December 31st.

What Medical Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Ohio?

In order to obtain an Ohio medical marijuana card, Ohio residents must first have documented evidence they are suffering from one of the 21 qualifying medical conditions. These medical conditions were established by the State Medical Board of Ohio.

 

At current, these health conditions include the following (click on each condition for a more detailed description):

Patients who determine that they qualify for medical marijuana must then see a doctor certified by the state to legally recommend medical marijuana to patients. The doctor will review your previous medical records and perform a brief, non-invasive examination in order to determine that you do, in fact, qualify for medical marijuana treatment.

Once a certified doctor has determined that you qualify for Ohio medical marijuana, they will write a recommendation letter which is sent to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. Once this letter is received, the patient will receive an email from a "no-reply-pmpaware" email address where the patient can electronically pay the $50 registration fee to the Board of Pharmacy, or $25 for any patients that qualify under Indigent or Veteran status. Once the State fee is paid the patient will be submitted to the Patient Registry system which is used by cannabis entities to confirm your active medical marijuana card. Once the patient has been entered into the Patient Registry they will be able to download an official Ohio medical marijuana card, or can access it digitally through a smartphone.

This card grants patients a theoretical "Affirmative Defense" against criminal charges. Though this affirmative defense is not foolproof, it does grant some legal protections in a courtroom. The medical marijuana card also allows patients to access dispensaries, and to purchase, obtain and transport Ohio medical marijuana. At current, there is no reciprocity between Ohio and other states with established medical marijuana programs, so buying MMJ in other states is strictly prohibited. Ohio has also banned smoking marijuana, though the State has no real way of enforcing the rule.

Will Anxiety and Autism Be Eligible for Medical Marijuana in Ohio?

For a period of 60 days each year, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program will consider new qualifying conditions. They have established the following criteria in order to have a new medical condition added to their list. The 2019 period for petitioning began November 1, 2019 and will end on December 31, 2019.

 

They criteria for applying are as follows:

  • Name and contact information

  • Specific disease or condition requested to be added

  • Information from experts who specialize in the study of the disease or condition

  • Relevant medical or scientific evidence

  • Consideration of whether conventional medical therapies are insufficient to treat or alleviate the disease or condition

  • Evidence supporting the use of medical marijuana to treat or alleviate the disease or condition and other types of medical or scientific documentation

  • Letters of support provided by physicians