Getting To Know The Ohio Tenth, Medical Marijuana's Oddest Measurement
Updated: Nov 20, 2019
Medical marijuana is finally legal in Ohio. And a handful of dispensaries are currently open throughout the Buckeye State, slowly serving suffering patients excited to get their hands on legal cannabis.
We've already discussed the admittedly high prices that medical marijuana patients will be forced to incur in the short term, as the industry steadily comes to life. But there's another big question we have been getting lately...
What the heck is up with "The Ohio Tenth"?!
The Ohio Tenth, or 2.83 grams, was the standard set by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, in association with the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy. This measurement is considered a daily dose for medical marijuana patients by the State of Ohio.
A patient can buy one daily dose, or up to a 90-day supply, per visit. Unless advised or directed otherwise by the state, the doctor's at Ohio Marijuana Card typically write a letter of recommendation to qualifying patients with three 90-day supplies of cannabis -- a year's supply. Doctors are not permitted to write more than a single year's supply in one visit.
From a patient perspective: you could enter a dispensary and buy 5 doses one week, and 5 doses the next. But as soon as you hit 90 doses within the 90-day period, you will not be permitted to purchase cannabis from a dispensary ... at least until the next 90-day period would begin.
How long should 2.83 grams of marijuana last?
Though the common measurement for cannabis is 3.5 grams, or one-eighth an ounce, 2.83 grams is not a small amount, particularly when you factor that Ohio considers this amount a "single day" of cannabis. This means that Ohio assumes cannabis users will each consume 2.83 grams of cannabis a day. Naturally, a patient is not forced to use 2.83 grams all in one day. If 2.83 grams lasts you a full year, that's quite alright (though potency of your cannabis will decline greatly).
As an Ohio medical marijuana patient myself, and a regular cannabis user, I found that 2.83 grams lasted me about 2-3 days, depending on my delivery method (Arizer vs Pax).
Vaping easily increases the amount of time you can use the cannabis as you can heat and reheat your medicine multiple times in one day. And better ... you can also take the vaped weed, grind it down and add it to meals for one last edible use. For patients looking to stretch their cannabis, this is the way to go!
The biggest benefit to this "daily unit" concept is that patients can easily mix and match cannabis strains and see which ones work best for them. Unfortunately, due to higher prices, this may not be possible right now. But as consumers reject high prices, more cultivators hit the market, and supplies grow more plentiful, we will see prices drop. Eventually, 2.83 grams may turn out to be a decent "sample size" for those strain-hopping.
The negative, however, is that patients who consume cannabis more heavily for ailments like PTSD, severe pain, or even cancer, may find 2.83 grams to be a little light, especially if they are used to 3.5 grams as a single day supply.
But why one-tenth of cannabis?
In an effort to create a system of regulation where cannabis use is tracked, not unlike narcotic prescriptions in pharmacies, Ohio decided that roughly 9 ounces was considered an ample 90-day supply for patients. To divide up this amount, cannabis is broken down into smaller "daily units" containing one-tenth of an ounce.
While the overarching reason for this decision of 2.83 grams has remained something of a brain twister, it's possible Ohio simply wanted to differentiate themselves from other states with MMJ programs that generally sell cannabis in eighths, or 3.5 grams.
It's also possible this was done in a minuscule effort to curb black market sales of Ohio cannabis. After all, 2.83 grams is less desirable than 3.5 grams. The school of thought may have been that 2.83 grams would deter trafficking across state lines, particularly with neighboring states like Pennsylvania and Michigan already serving cannabis users with their own programs.
There does not seem to be any specific data or scientific studies that Ohio cited when making this decision of 2.83 grams, which makes it feel rather arbitrary overall.
The decision is especially frustrating because it does not factor a patients' possible medical needs, nor does the regulation work well with products like concentrates or creams.
Ultimately, the Ohio tenth has been a logistical nightmare for cultivators and dispensaries to solve. Compound this regulation with the tight restrictions on cannabis presentation (patients cannot see the cannabis they buy) and you've got a recipe for angry customers, angry companies and disappointed advocates, each starving for looser regulations, or recreational marijuana -- whichever comes first.
Sadly, when the decision to choose 2.83 grams as the "daily unit" of cannabis was made by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, it was done without consultation from the cannabis industry, or the doctors of Ohio Marijuana Card (or any passionate MMJ physician). And worse, there's little the industry can do to change it now, outside of lawsuits which could delay the program further.
Hopefully pressure will mount as more and more patients write into the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program and voice their concerns. With some luck, we may see the state loosen this bizarre regulation in the future. The program is in its infancy right now, so changes, growth and maturity are bound to happen.
If you are an Ohioan suffering from one of these 21 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products.
Click here to learn more about what Ohio Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at 1-866-457-5559 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.
Also, be sure to check out our latest episode of Ohio Marijuana Pod!