The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program held their April Advisory Committee Meeting yesterday in downtown Columbus. We traveled down to gather any information and insights into the program's status, and although the meeting is held primarily for the OMMCP and the other departments involved in Ohio's program to convene, the meeting offered a few insights particular to patient experience.
New Conditions To Be Added in June or July
The State Medical Board of Ohio is currently reviewing 5 conditions to be added to Ohio's qualifying conditions for medical marijuana treatment. The conditions under review include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Opioid Use Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Depression, and Insomnia. The Board will vote on adding additional conditions by no later than July 2019, however they hope to have the decisions made in June as they will be receiving the recommendations from experts in May.
Can I Use My Card If I Have 1 Daily Unit Left?
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy confirmed yesterday that patients do have a grace period of 5 days prior to a 90-day supply ending to purchase medical marijuana. We have had patients that were concerned that, with only 1 remaining daily dosage remaining in their 90-day supply, if they would be able to make a purchase since the daily unit would technically be tracked as 2 doses. In this situation, a patient would be able to purchase product, however it would effect the upcoming 90-day supply.
Furthermore, daily dosages are counted each day in the 90-day supply, meaning if you do not buy a daily unit in a single-day it would still count against your total 90-day supply available. However, patients ARE permitted to visit multiple dispensaries throughout the 90 days, or even in a single day!
What If There Are Mistakes In My Registry Account?
If you have any discrepancies or inconsistencies in the tracking of your purchases, for example if you buy X day supplies and the website say you bought X+, save all your receipts and screenshots of the Ohiomedicalmarijuanaregistry.com. Then, call the Pharmacy board at 614-705-1189; do not call the OMMCP Helpline, as this is not a Helpline issue, this is a Pharmacy board issue.
What If I Have Adverse Effects to Medical Marijuana Strains?
If you have an adverse effect from your medical marijuana strain purchased from a dispensary, make sure to reach out directly to the dispensary and make them aware of your experience. Dispensaries are required to track adverse complaints, and send them to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy for record. As we have mentioned before, there are fantastic apps such as Releaf and Potbot that can help track your strain choices over time and keep track of the effects from each strain.
Furthermore, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Patient Support Center at (1-866-457-5559) so that we can make our doctor aware of any adverse experience. We are here to make sure medical marijuana works best for you, and we will help advise how to avoid future similar experiences.
Is CBD Legal Yet in Ohio?
As of right now, nothing has changed with regards to CBD legality, or illegality, in Ohio. The federally-passed Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 specified that the law does not supersede state law, meaning that until the Ohio House passes the new hemp farming bill - Senate Bill 57 - CBD is still considered in the same classification as marijuana. For the time being, only state-licensed dispensaries can dispense CBD products. However, there are online websites such as Extract Labs that offer dosage options of 2,000 mg and 4,000 mg, in addition to posted test results of their products to ensure quality.
Updates on Ohio Cultivators
There are currently 17 cultivators with certificates of operation, and 10 cultivators currently with product in the market. The next 7 cultivators should have their product in the market by the end of spring, and the Ohio Department of Commerce believes that the rest of the cultivators in the state will receive their certificates of operations by the end of the summer. On average, it can take anywhere between 3 - 5 months for cultivators to complete the process of growing, trimming, curing, and testing before product hits dispensary shelves.
When Will Edibles Be Available in Ohio?
According to the senior policy advisor for the Ohio Department of Commerce, edibles, including gummies, chewables, chocolates, protein bars and granola bars should be hitting dispensary shelves in the next couple of weeks. Due to the nature of edible processing and manufacturing, processors in Ohio must demonstrate Food Safety as overseen by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. With only 2 processors in Ohio with their certificates of operation, this should be a relatively simple and efficient process to have completed.
OMMCP member Bob Bridges spoke for all patients in Ohio when he stated:
“We’ve had other states roll out medical programs,” he said. “We’re not reinventing the wheel here, so this could have been sped up a lost faster. All we’re doing is hurting patients in Ohio by dragging this out. The other thing I’m really concerned about, and it comes from patients, is the cost.”
At the end of the day, all of the departments associated with Ohio's medical marijuana program: the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, the Ohio Department of Commerce, the State Medical Board of Ohio, and the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program need to increase their accessibility to questions, comments, and feedbacks on the program's rules and regulations. At the very least, all need to increase their transparency as we work through the delays and kinks in Ohio's programs. We cannot be reliant on these monthly meetings to receive updates, or rely on journalists breaking these stories. Patients need to be just as aware, and information needs to be accessible, to ensure that this program works for the patients. It should not be the patients' responsibility to search for the information they need to make an educated decision on if this program would work best for them.
The OMMCP has made a summary powerpoint of the April Advisory Meeting available online, you can access the presentation here: https://www.medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov/Documents/advisory-committee/April%202019/MMAC%20Updates%20April%202019.pdf
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.