The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP) was passed in 2016 and officially became operational in January of 2018 with the opening of the first marijuana dispensaries in Ohio.
With the establishment of Ohio's medical marijuana program, you can get an Ohio Marijuana Card to treat a list of 22* qualifying conditions that have been approved for medical marijuana treatment in Ohio. While this is one of the most inclusive qualifying conditions lists of any state in the country, there are a number of conditions that patients commonly tell us are not adequately covered within Ohio's list.
The only agency with control over the list of qualifying conditions in Ohio is the State Medical Board. Each year, the State Medical Board accepts petitions to add additional qualifying conditions to the OMMCP; 2019's petition period began on November 1, 2019 and closed at the end of last year on December 31, 2019. Now, the State Medical Board is reviewing a number of petitions that were submitted, hoping to provide updates and developments on the review next month.
2018's Petition Period
During Ohio's first petition period in 2018, there were a total of 5 medical conditions that were considered for addition to the OMMCP:
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Opioid Use Disorder
Only anxiety disorders and autism spectrum disorder would make it to final consideration, with both being tabled for consideration in 2019.
The 2019 Petition Period
Cleveland 19 reported that there were a total of 28 conditions submitted to the State Medical Board during the 2019 petition period, although there are technically only 13 unique conditions:
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cachexia & Other Wasting Syndromes
Diabetes, Hypoglycemia & Hyperglycemia
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Opioid Use Disorder
Stage 4 Breast Lung Lymph Nodes Cancer
Hear the One About the Cleveland Browns Fan Who Had a Terrible Sense of Humor?
Sadly, a proposed condition that has received the most attention from the media so far was the inclusion of "Being a Browns/Bengals Fan" as a qualifying condition. While many found this amusing, ultimately it has diverted attention from the real medical conditions being petitioned for.
Furthermore, the idea of adding a condition like this takes away from the legitimacy of this program as a medical treatment, and can possibly perpetuate stigmas associated with cannabis and its users.
Now that the petition period has closed and the petitioned conditions have been identified, the State Medical Board's Medical Marijuana Committee will decide which of the 28 petitions will be considered to be added to the OMMCP. A committee meeting is scheduled for February 12, although it will likely be closer to mid-2020 before we have a better idea of the conditions that will make it to final consideration and review.
Unfortunately for those who believe medical marijuana could be the relief they seek from the symptoms of anxiety disorders or autism, the State Medical Board ultimately voted not to grant qualifying condition status to those conditions in July of 2020. At the same meeting, the Board voted unanimously to allow medical marijuana to be used to treat Cachexia.
Cachexia and Marijuana
Cachexia is the loss of muscle and body fat due to conditions such as cancer or AIDS. It cannot be treated simply by eating more, even in cases where patients’ appetites are sufficiently stimulated. Fortunately, however, there is evidence to suggest that marijuana can help maintain and increase body weight, leaving some chronically-ill people with one less thing to deal with as they fight for their health or even their lives.
So Tough Luck for Anxiety Sufferers and Those on the Spectrum?
Not necessarily. There has been evidence to suggest that marijuana can play a therapeutic role for anxiety sufferers. There is less scientific support so far for marijuana’s efficacy in treating autism-related issues. However, ample anecdotal evidence suggests the possibility of a therapeutic role for marijuana here, and support for continued research from the larger autism community.
How You Can Help Expand Medical Marijuana Access
And fortunately for those who would like to see the list of qualifying conditions expanded, the State Medical Board’s approval process can be swayed by public action.
The Board will accept petitions from November 1 to December 31 of 2021. There will be a period sometime afterwards when the general public may submit written comments on the petitions to the Board.
But you don’t have to wait for the Board to expand the list to seek relief from any of 22 qualifying conditions that the Board already recognizes. Give us a call at (866) 457-5559, or schedule an appointment online today, to start getting the natural relief you deserve tomorrow.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
Here at Ohio Marijuana Card, our goal is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at (866) 457-5559, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Ohio Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Ohio.
*Changed to reflect updates as of May 5, 2021