However, at the time of the bill's signing, a mere 21 medical conditions were approved for treatment with medical marijuana. That may soon change as petitions to add new medical conditions are set to begin on November 1, 2018.
In order to obtain an Ohio medical marijuana card, Buckeye State residents must first have documented evidence they are suffering from of one of the 21 qualifying medical conditions.
These medical conditions were established by the State Medical Board of Ohio.
At current, these health conditions include the following (click on each condition for a more detailed description):
Traumatic Brain Injury
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
Patients who determine that they qualify for medical marijuana must then see a doctor certified by the state to legally recommend medical marijuana to patients. This doctor will review your previous medical records and perform a brief non-invasive examination in order to determine that you do, in fact, qualify for MMJ.
Once a certified doctor has determined that you qualify for Ohio medical marijuana, they write a recommendation letter which is sent to the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy. Once this letter is received, the patient pays a $50 registration fee to the Board of Pharmacy, who then registers a patient as a medical marijuana user. From there, they send out an official medical marijuana Ohio card.
This card grants patients a theoretical "Affirmative Defense" against criminal charges. Though this affirmative defense is not fool proof, it does grant some legal protections in a court room. The medical marijuana card also allows patients to access dispensaries, and to purchase, obtain and transport Ohio medical marijuana. At current, there is no reciprocity between Ohio and other states with established medical marijuana programs, so buying MMJ in other states is strictly prohibited. Ohio has also banned smoking reefer, though they have no real way of enforcing the rule.
Adding New Qualifying Conditions
Since the initial list of qualifying medical conditions was released, Ohio cannabis supporters have vented frustration over the lack of some generally accepted medical conditions listed in other medical marijuana programs across the country, like insomnia, anxiety, depression and IBS (IBD is a different disease). There has even been some criticism about what has been included on the list, like CTE, a medical condition that cannot be diagnosed until the patient has literally died!
Though some of these conditions (IBS, anxiety) can be folded into the likes of PTSD or chronic pain, many Ohioans are left suffering, forced to use stronger medications, medicines with nasty side effects, or even opioids to treat their condition.
Thankfully, Ohio has taken that into account and will begin accepting new petitions for medical conditions. Though applying is no simple task, it's highly likely several lobby groups and passionate advocates are already hard at work on getting their petitions ready. They'll need to act fast, though, as the timeline for petitioning new conditions this year is tight, at just 60 days.
From November 1 to December 31, 2018, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program will consider new qualifying conditions. They have established the following criteria in order to have a new medical condition added to their list. They are as follows:
Name and contact information
Specific disease or condition requested to be added
Information from experts who specialize in the study of the disease or condition
Relevant medical or scientific evidence
Consideration of whether conventional medical therapies are insufficient to treat or alleviate the disease or condition
Evidence supporting the use of medical marijuana to treat or alleviate the disease or condition and other types of medical or scientific documentation
Letters of support provided by physicians
To find out more about applying, visit the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program website and fill out their new conditions petition form (found here), or call their toll-free helpline at 1-833-4OH-MMCP (1-833-464-6627).
In the meantime, if you are an Ohioan suffering from one of these 21 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana. 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.