Top Patient Complaints About Medical Marijuana in Ohio Addressed in Senate Vote!
On Wednesday, December 15th, 2021, the Ohio Senate passed SB 261, drastically expanding the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in the Buckeye State, increasing the number of dispensaries and cannabis cultivation space, and making medical marijuana more affordable and accessible to patients.
The bill still needs to make it through the Ohio House, but considering the fact that the Senate version of the bill passed in just four weeks, and that recreational marijuana legalization is looming large, it looks like the medical marijuana program in Ohio is about to get a whole lot better in 2022.
More Qualifying Conditions = Better Access
Between chronic pain and PTSD, most Ohio adults qualify for medical marijuana under the guidelines of the state. However, many are not aware of just how easy getting a card can be. Some do not equate persistent migraines, minor arthritis, or conditions that cause chronic stomach pain, to the kind of chronic pain that qualifies for marijuana card in Ohio.
This leads to a misunderstanding of the kinds of diagnoses necessary to qualify for medical cannabis, and many who would benefit from this powerful plant medicine end up missing out.
SB 261 would help ease the process, and make patients more comfortable seeking out natural relief, by adding conditions like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), and any condition a doctor believes medical marijuana may relieve.
Adding these conditions to the list gives doctors the discretion to use their years of training and experience to determine the best course of treatment for their patients, and it helps to destigmatize cannabis use for health benefits by giving patients more freedom to consider medical marijuana to treat their symptoms.
More Ohio Dispensaries and Cultivation Space Means Lower Cannabis Prices
As of December, 2021, there are about 6,000 patients per medical marijuana dispensary in Ohio. With the number of cultivators that have permits to operate in the state, we determined in our Guide to Dispensary Savings that there is enough space to cultivate about 3.5 ounces of marijuana flower per patient, per harvest.
Cannabis prices in Ohio may be coming down, but they are doomed to continue to stay above other state MMJ markets (such as Michigan) when products are in such high demand. The expansion proposed in SB 261 would increase competition among dispensaries and allow cultivators to produce more cannabis, in order to meet the needs of the current market.
This will inevitably bring medical marijuana dispensary prices down, and patients may soon be celebrating the victory of more affordable cannabis after almost four years of grumbling.
Better Advertising for Dispensaries Keeps Patients More Informed
No one likes the idea of being exposed to yet another barrage of advertising. But patients will benefit from dispensaries having an easier time in their marketing efforts.
The way the rules of the program are set right now, dispensaries must get approval for any form of advertising they use. This includes press releases, product announcements, participation in consumer-facing events, and social media.
As a result, medical marijuana patients in Ohio are left to do a lot of guessing when it comes to finding the best product prices, and they often don’t even get to see what a product looks like before they buy it.
The easement of these advertising restrictions proposed in SB 261 will make it possible for cannabis dispensaries to display products in advertising, communicate with patients through social media, and put out marketing materials without having a big load of red tape stalling the process.
Greater Diversity in Cannabis Products Gives MMJ Patients Freedom to Tailor Their Treatment
Even though there is quite a selection of cannabis products available at any Ohio dispensary, an expansion of approved products means that patients will have an even greater chance of finding just the right product for their lifestyle and symptoms.
SB 261 proposes that the program should expand its list of approved products to include pills and capsules, suppositories, oral strips, sprays and pouches, and metered dose inhalers.
Higher THC Content. Hooray!
In addition to an expansion of the products available at Ohio dispensaries, SB 261 also proposes that THC limits for concentrates should be increased from 70 percent to 90 percent. While THC is not the only factor in whether patients will get relief from a specific product, higher THC concentrations may help patients save money by using less, and products will be more effective in treating very severe symptoms.
What’s Next for Medical Marijuana in Ohio?
The Ohio Senate quickly passed SB 261, and it must now get approved by the Ohio House before it can be signed into law. It’s unclear how much of a priority the House will make this bill considering the strong Republican majority.
However, the Senate version was sponsored by four Republicans. With a push for recreational legalization bearing down on State lawmakers, it might be enough pressure to get SB 261 passed.
What About Recreational Marijuana in Ohio?
Though there is a big push to legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio, any sort of program allowing the legal sale of adult use marijuana products is a long way off.
It looks like the advocacy group, Just Like Alcohol, has the best chance of facilitating any sort of legislation related to recreational marijuana. But even if the group gets enough signatures to force legislators into action, implementation could be several years down the road.
Get Ohio Your Marijuana Card to be Ready for the 2022 Program Improvements!
Regardless of the details, it’s clear that the Ohio medical marijuana program is about to see some major improvements in 2022! Despite all the room for growth, the program is full of amazing benefits as it is right now.
Medical marijuana prices at dispensaries are the lowest they have ever been, there is an astounding variety of cannabis products and strains available, and Ohio Marijuana Card makes getting your card affordable and simple!
Give us a call at (866) 457-5559 to get your questions answered, or simply make an appointment online to get a medical marijuana evaluation in Ohio 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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