Update On The Progress Of Ohio's Medical Marijuana Patient Registry
It has been a few weeks now since Ohio officially launched the medical marijuana patient registry. This registry allows patients who have received (or will receive) a medical marijuana recommendation from a state-certified physician to register with the state as an official medical marijuana patient.
Once registered, patients will receive their Ohio medical marijuana card, which can be printed right from the website. This is the card that will be used to access dispensaries throughout the Buckeye State. The card also grants you an 'affirmative defense' against any possible criminal charges should a patient be caught with medical marijuana purchased from an Ohio dispensary.
We've written up a great tutorial that walks patients through what to expect from the patient registry website. You can give it a read here. There's plenty of updates, with additional information, and a few notes from the staff at Ohio Marijuana Card.
Why have I not received my registration email yet?
Ohio originally announced their method for registering patients about 2-3 months ago. Our team at Ohio Marijuana Card spent months memorizing, learning and preparing for this date. On the day registration actually opened, however, Ohio had changed the procedure for registering patients in such a way that it has caused serious delays. Now, every single patient must be entered manually by our certified support team delegates, and confirmed by the patients' MMJ doctor. What once appeared to be a process that could take mere days, will now take weeks as a result of the changes.
This forced our team to recalculate how much time it would take to register every patient. Though our adjusted preparation placed our registration goal within the window before dispensaries open, a few patients have expressed confusion, frustration or downright anger over the delays.
We understand the frustration as we are equally frustrated by these delays. All our team wants is for our patients to be able to get the treatment they've sought for so long. It has been, and continues to be, our belief that every qualified patient who wants a medical marijuana card in Ohio should be able to get that card easily and affordably.
Know that our team still plans on having all qualified patients registered before dispensaries open, and we are on target to meet that goal as we have registered well over half the patients we need to register, and there are still 2-3 weeks before dispensaries open.
We are working day and night to ensure our patients are among the very first Ohioans to get a medical marijuana card. And the reports show it! Ohio has registered 3460 patients since the registry has opened. Patient registrations are rolling in, and it won't be long now until every qualified patient has their official medical marijuana card in hand.
How are things coming along with Ohio's medical marijuana program?
There were initially several factors that led to significant delays with Ohio's MMJ program. This pushed the launch date back from September 8, 2018, to around January 2019. Many dispensaries are still behind, working hard to get their buildings ready for final inspection. It is expected that most (if not all) dispensaries will be open by summer 2019, but many are planning to open their doors as early as January and February of 2019.
Unfortunately, due to delays, product will be limited for the first few weeks that dispensaries are open. This will taper off as cultivators get on a regular cycle, and cannabis is more readily available as a result.
We at Ohio Marijuana Card are hoping Ohio dispensaries can develop a system for dispersing cannabis to the patients who need it most (cancer, terminal and Alzheimer's patients, PTSD patients, etc), or to patients who live closest to their dispensary. Expect some lines and supply shortages at launch. But also expect better availability and pricing, and more locations, as the program continues to roll out over 2019.
Where will Ohio marijuana dispensaries be located?
There will be roughly 60 dispensaries spread all across the Buckeye State. Dispensaries will open in large cities as well as smaller communities, so patients shouldn't have to drive very far in order to buy legal cannabis. Click here, or the map below, to see where each dispensary will be located once they open:
NOTE: 60 dispensaries is a smaller number than many states with similar medical marijuana programs, so a few communities may have a longer drive as a result. Unfortunately, home delivery is not an option in Ohio at current, but some nonprofits are working hard to figure out a workaround, so disabled patients will be cared for in the ways that are best for their lifestyle/circumstances.
It has been a long, bumpy ride, with frustrating stops, dizzying turns and delays, and the occasional detour. But like any long ride, you eventually reach the destination. And we are close now. So sit tight. Ohio marijuana is coming!
Ohio Marijuana Card has launched a brand-new informational podcast where we discuss Ohio medical marijuana news and updates. Give the first episode a watch by clicking here, or view the video below:
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.