How to Qualify for an Ohio Medical Marijuana Recommendation

How do you qualify for a medical marijuana card in Ohio?

That’s a question our Cincinnati office has been getting a lot.

Ever since state legislators passed Ohio’s cannabis law House Bill 523, in 2016, patients have been eager and excited at the prospect of using marijuana legally to treat their conditions. But it has been a long and slow process. A deadline of Sept. 8 of this year was set for the program to begin, but officials say there’s no way it will be met. In fact, it was as late as last July that the first of 25 cultivators received operations certificates to start planting seeds, according to the Dayton Daily News.

You will need to register with the State Board of Pharmacy, but so far the registration database is still on hold.

You will also need a valid medical marijuana card issued by the state of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program. Again, the issuing of cards has been delayed.

The card will be valid for a year from the date it is issued.

To qualify for a card, you will need to be diagnosed by a state approved doctor and have one of 21 approved conditions. These include:

  • PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder)
  • Epilepsy or another Seizure disorder
  • Fibromyalgia
  • AIDS (or HIV+ status)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Chronic, Severe or Intractable Pain
  • Cancer

As you can see, nerve pain, back pain, and joint pain qualify for medical marijuana treatment, so long as the pain is considered chronic, severe or intractable.

Deadline to Petition Board for Additional Qualifications

It’s a very specific list, but more may be added. After Nov. 1, patients may petition the State Medical Board with additional suggestions for qualifying conditions. Submissions will be collected through an online application process from then until Dec. 31.

State Approved Ohio MMJ Doctors

To qualify as physician authorized to make medical marijuana recommendations, doctors must:

  • Maintain an unrestricted MD or DO license.
  • Complete 2 hours of qualified training to diagnose qualifying conditions.

The State Medical Board has so far cleared 139 physicians, including Dr. Blatman, to recommend medical marijuana.

Qualifying physicians will not technically be able to prescribe cannabis, which continues to be a Schedule 1 substance that is illegal to prescribe under federal law. Doctors instead will be able to “recommend” marijuana to treat qualifying conditions under Ohio’s new medical marijuana law.

Limits on Legal Consumption

Technically, the new law does prohibit smoking as an ingestion method. Instead, patients can induce it through edibles, vaping, topicals, patches, and oils.

“I think a lot of the confusion comes because plant material will be sold. But you’re not allowed to take that plant material and use it by combustion,” said Thomas Rosenberger, executive director, National Cannabis Industry Association of Ohio.

Consumption also cannot take place in public places and will need to be done in the privacy of your own home.

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