Ohio Medical Marijuana Program May Get Major Overhaul—Meaning More Affordable Cannabis for Patients
Updated: Oct 26, 2021
Ohio State Senate President, Matt Huffman—the Lima Republican and lead sponsor of the bill that legalized medical marijuana in the state—is drafting a new bill that would make medical cannabis more accessible and affordable for patients by way of making it easier for businesses to operate.
Patients who are living with any of the 25 conditions qualifying for treatment with medical marijuana can get a marijuana card that allows them to shop at licensed dispensaries across the state. However, many residents and advocates complain that the list is still too restrictive, and cannabis products are too expensive.
However, the next Ohio legislative session could bring on big changes that will solve some of the problems plaguing the medical marijuana program since its inception in 2016.
Abolishing the Board of Pharmacy as a Regulatory Body
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy is currently a regulatory body within the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, and the challenge in dealing with this department has led to much frustration and unnecessary expense among Ohio-based medical cannabis producers.
Eliminating wasted expense due to the bureaucratic process is one part of the potential new bill that will help drive medical marijuana prices down.
Complaints from producers mostly involve contradictions between the Ohio Department of Commerce and the Board of Pharmacy. And most of the time, the conflict isn’t even over the actual products themselves. For example, the Department of of Commerce will give the okay on a product’s packaging, the producer will invest, and then it gets rejected by the Board of Pharmacy.
Adding More Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana Patients
It’s no secret that the Ohio medical marijuana program is one of the more restrictive in the United States. For many states, the list of qualifying conditions includes any condition for which a doctor believes marijuana could be beneficial. However, Ohio has only 25 conditions, up from 21 when the program started.
This new legislation may add more conditions to the list based on what other states are doing, which would make legal medical marijuana far more accessible for patients seeking natural relief in Ohio.
Making it Easier for Ohio Cannabis Growers to Expand
Increasing supply will make medical marijuana cheaper in Ohio and ensure that dispensaries have enough product to sell when more of them open. The state recently expanded its available dispensary licenses from 57 to 130, and producers will have their work cut out to keep up with demand as more locations welcome new patients.
Lawmakers in the state are already keenly aware of the fact that some would-be patients travel to neighboring states where they can legally get marijuana for less. Huffman is working on this issue by making it easier and less expensive for medical cannabis growers to expand.
As of right now, medical cannabis growers in Ohio have to wait for a solicitation from the state in order to expand their operations. This new bill would make it so that growers can expand to their maximum size without twiddling their thumbs until the state asks them to grow more marijuana.
Less Restrictive Advertising Fosters Healthy Competition Among Medical Marijuana Brands
As of right now, medical marijuana brands are not allowed to do much in order to get the word out about their products. While meant to protect minors and other vulnerable populations from the influence of aggressive marketing campaigns, it does Ohio patients reliant on cannabis for treatment a disservice.
Medical marijuana businesses are not allowed to show images of their products, respond to questions or comments on social media, or give away promotional items. Dispensaries are not allowed to even post “We’re Open” signs.
This means that patients looking for the products that will bring them the most relief may have a difficult time finding them, and prices will be higher because of the lack of healthy competition. Cannabis companies with complaints point out that major pharmaceutical companies are allowed to advertise their products, and they want a fairer system for medical marijuana.
Medical Marijuana in Ohio is Getting More Affordable and Accessible—Get Your Card Today!
Even though the current state of the medical marijuana program in Ohio is not ideal, things are looking up for patients in the Buckeye State. The list of qualifying conditions (which includes common diagnoses like chronic pain, arthritis, PTSD and IBD) is expanding to allow greater access for more residents, and a draft of a new bill may make things easier for cannabis-based businesses in Ohio to operate (driving marijuana prices at dispensaries down).
Getting your marijuana card is a simple process, and the only legal way to purchase, possess and consume marijuana in Ohio—even if you travel to Michigan to get your cannabis.
Make sure you’re fully within the limits of the law by getting your Ohio marijuana card today, and be among the first patients to benefit as the program improves!
Give us a call at (866) 457-5559, or simply schedule an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor online today!
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 the 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!
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