Welcome to the party, pal
The Buckeye State officially joined the cannabis club in the fall of 2016, when Ohio governor John Kasich signed a medical marijuana bill into law. It has been two long years since that date and there have been many unforeseen delays. But cannabis companies are moving along after jumping through dozens of legal and logistical hoops. Cultivators are harvesting crops and dispensaries are prepping for a winter 2018-19 launch. But one aspect of the cannabis industry Ohioans will miss out on is home delivery.
Ohio's law (HB 523) specifically states that home delivery businesses are prohibited. To nail that point down, Ohio is only allowing patient caregivers to have no more than two patients at once, and vice versa for patients (no more than two caregivers at once). This effectively kills any chances that Ohio will see medical marijuana delivery services, that is, unless some budding entrepreneurs can figure out the loopholes ... provided there are any to discover.
But until that time comes, cannabis will need to be purchased in person, or by a licensed caregiver, at state-authorized medical marijuana dispensary. These dispensaries (when finally open) will be found all across the state of Ohio.
What is marijuana home delivery?
Many states with medical and recreational marijuana programs allow for home deliveries. These services typically assign caregiver licenses to multiple drivers, who can enter medical marijuana dispensaries, purchase product for a variety of patients, and transport it back to your house, usually for a small delivery fee. Often within an hour or less.
Some of these programs have very loose stipulations, while others are quite strict with how much marijuana can be delivered, and how many patients one caregiver can tend to at a time.
Michigan, for example, recently passed legislation that paves the way for home deliveries in their state. Getting medical cannabis in Michigan will now literally be a phone call away. This will greatly benefit Michigan medical marijuana patients in a number of powerful ways. It could also provide a solid pathway for Ohio to follow, if the Buckeye State ever chooses to reevaluate marijuana delivery services.
Why medical marijuana home delivery can be important
While some view marijuana delivery as catering only to the lazy, medical marijuana delivery services can provide a wealth of benefits to certain patients that many lawmakers fail to consider when writing rules about these services.
At current, there will be around 60 dispensaries located throughout Ohio. If a patient does not live near one of these dispensaries, they will be forced to travel great distances in order to buy legal cannabis. And since Ohio has also foolishly failed to allow home growing, either, those patients are forced to travel in order to purchase their medicine. Cannabis delivery could have rectified that problem for some patients.
Also, a great many Ohio medical marijuana patients are disabled, unable to drive, or incapable of driving. Some cannot make long trips, travel in vehicles or are prohibited from going outside unless with someone. This makes going to a dispensary even more challenging. And while some patients will inevitably be able to obtain a caregiver within their family or friend group, not all cannabis patients -- particularity the elderly -- have a friend or loved one who would be willing to take that mantle.
If a patient cannot find a caregiver, they must hire one. This can be a costly endeavor for a patient that could drain their bank account before they even lay eyes on any medicinal cannabis. Delivery services usually offer a much cheaper alternative to these patients, with quicker results and less strain on the wallet.
Alas, until Ohio lawmakers open their eyes about why cannabis patients seek home delivery in the first place, there will be little change in Ohio's law. That said, with Michigan accepting home delivery, while also adding recreational to their current medical marijuana program, pressure is likely to mount from advocates throughout Ohio. With some luck, the laws will change sooner rather than later. As always, we will see.
If you'd like to find out more about how to become a patient caregiver, we've written up this handy resource (here) that walks Ohioans through the process of obtaining a patient caregiver license. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program has also released a video tutorial for becoming a patient caregiver. You can view it here, or click on the video below.
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.