An amendment legalizing medical marijuana in The Buckeye State was approved in 2016, and dispensaries are expected to open by the end of January 2018.
There are currently 21 conditions that can qualify a patient to receive a medical marijuana card in Ohio, but it may look like 22 conditions because there are two different types of pain included. The qualifying conditions in Ohio are:
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
Spinal cord disease or injury
There are three main steps to take if you suffer from one of the qualifying conditions, and would like to apply for a medical marijuana card.
Step 1: Visit a Certified Physician
Before a patient suffering from any one of these qualifying conditions can purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary in Ohio, he or she must first receive a recommendation from one of the state-approved medical doctors. Only doctors who have been certified, and hold a valid Certificate to Recommend from the State Medical Board of Ohio, will be able to provide a medical marijuana recommendation. The roster of certified physicians in Ohio can be found by clicking this link.
Be sure to bring your government issued identification and relevant medical history with you to the first appointment. Also, be prepared to establish a relationship with your physician. Doctors are only able to recommend up to a 90 day supply of medical marijuana for you with up to three refills.
Step 2: Pay the Registration Fee
When your doctor validates that you have one of the qualifying conditions, he or she will create your patient profile, and provide you with a signed copy of the recommendation as well as submit a copy to the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. You will receive an email with a link to complete your patient registration. Once you pay the $50 registration fee and accept the terms of the program, your medical marijuana card will be activated, and you can print it at that time. The $50 registration fee will be charged each year that you renew your medical marijuana card.
Step 3: Find a Dispensary
You will need to present a valid, government issued ID as well as your patient registry card when you go to make a purchase at the dispensary. Dispensary staff are expected to be educated on the products available, and should be able to help you choose which are best for you.
Medical marijuana cards in Ohio are only valid for one year from the date you make the payment. As the program in Ohio is brand new, it is possible that not all dispensaries will have every type of product available in the beginning, and shortages of products are expected. You may want to wait to pay your registration fee until you’re sure that the products you want are available at the dispensary you choose.