Ohio Medical Marijuana Card

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Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Ohio?

Yes. Medicinal marijuana was legalized in Ohio in June 2016 when Governor John Kasich signed HB523 into law to create the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP). The OMMCP is administered by the State Board of Pharmacy, the State Medical Board, and the Ohio Department of Commerce (ODC). The ODC provides for the licensure of medical marijuana cultivators, processors, and laboratories, while the State Medical Board authorizes qualified healthcare practitioners to recommend medical marijuana use for registered patients and their caregivers. The Board of Pharmacy is tasked with licensing retail dispensaries and identifying the different forms of medical marijuana that will be dispensed.

Under the OMMCP, qualified patients can purchase medical marijuana as tinctures, cannabis oils, plant materials, edibles, lotions, patches, and creams. The Program permits registered patients to buy up to 4.45 grams of medical marijuana every 45 days.

What is Medical Marijuana in Ohio?

The use of marijuana for medicinal use has been decriminalized under the Ohio Laws & Administrative Rules, which enables patients with qualifying health conditions to now use medical marijuana. Medical marijuana alleviates some of the associated symptoms of these conditions through treatment. Medical cannabis contains about 400 different chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. Each chemical has varying effects on the body, the most prominent components being delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). This component may effectively treat associated symptoms like pain, nausea, appetite loss, spasms, etc.

To become a qualified patient under the Ohio Laws, a physician must confirm and issue medical marijuana use for the patient. The patient will require an MMJ card to legally purchase medical marijuana from a registered dispensary in the state. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program administers the patient and caregiver registry. The patient will be issued an MMJ card once the application is approved, and they will be able to purchase medical marijuana. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program is under the control of Ohio's Official Resource.

Recreational marijuana, unlike medical marijuana, is intended for non-medical use. Ohio currently prohibits recreational marijuana. States that have legalized recreational marijuana only make it legally accessible to adults aged 21 and above. In those states, access to adult-use marijuana does not require joining the medical marijuana program.

Who Can Get a Medical Marijuana Card For Cannabis In Ohio?

In order to be eligible for an Ohio medical marijuana card, you must have a recommendation from an approved healthcare provider attesting that you suffer from one of the approved medical conditions for medical marijuana. These conditions include:

  • Cancer

  • Positive status for HIV

  • AIDS

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

  • Crohn's disease

  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy

  • Hepatitis C

  • Glaucoma

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Epilepsy

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Sickle cell anemia

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Seizures

  • Spinal cord disease or injury

  • Ulcerative colitis

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Tourette's syndrome

  • Parkinson's disease

  • Chronic, severe, or intractable pain, including arthritis, chronic migraine, and complex regional pain syndrome

  • Alzheimer's disease

  • Cachexia

  • Huntington's disease

  • Spasticity

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Terminal illness

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio

To get a medical marijuana card in Ohio, you have to first find a licensed physician authorized to recommend medical cannabis for treatment. Ohio provides a list of state-licensed physicians with active Certificates to Recommend (CTR) medical marijuana. Schedule an appointment with a physician on this list and visit them to confirm that you have one of the qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana use. Upon confirmation, the physician will create a profile for you in the Ohio Patient & Caregiver Registry. You can then visit this online registry to complete your application. After collecting your medical marijuana card, you will need to visit your profile page on the registry to activate the card.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio Online

At your appointment with the CTR physician, you must present a valid state-issued driver's license, Ohio BMV-issued identification card, or any other accepted form of identification approved by the Board of Pharmacy as proof of residency. Upon review of residency status and certification for medical marijuana use, the physician will submit a recommendation directly to the Ohio medical marijuana patient registry. This submission will include other information, such as your name and email address. Upon getting a medical marijuana recommendation from a CTR physician, you will receive an email prompting you to log onto your Ohio medical marijuana patient registry account. Once signed into the registry, complete the application and pay the applicable registration fee.

If you are eligible for an indigent or veteran status, additional documentation must be emailed to MMCPRegistry@pharmacy.ohio.gov or mailed to:

State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy

MMCP Registry Department

c/o Mail Services

30 E. Broad St., B-1

Columbus, OH 43215

For more inquiries about obtaining a medical marijuana card in Ohio, call the Ohio Medical Marijuana Toll-Free Helpline at (833) 464-6627.

What Is the Cost of a Ohio Medical Marijuana Card?

An Ohio medical marijuana card costs $50 for patients and $25 for caregivers. Payment may be made using Visa, MasterCard, and Discover credit or debit cards. Ohio residents who qualify for indigent or veteran statuses can have these fees reduced by half. Such persons will be required to provide documentation supporting their statuses before qualifying for discounted fees. Note that it is recommended that any individual seeking a reduced fee due to a special status not submit payment for the registration until the status has been verified and approved by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.

The renewal fee for an Ohio medical marijuana card is $50 for a standard renewal application or $25 for an indigent resident or veteran.

Who Can Prescribe Medical Marijuana in Ohio?

Ohio requires residents looking to visit qualified physicians to obtain medical marijuana recommendations before applying for medical marijuana cards. The physicians must hold active certificate-to-recommend (CTR) licenses issued by the Ohio Medical Board and maintain bona fide relationships with the patients as their attending physicians. A CTR physician will confirm whether a patient has a qualifying condition and review the patient's medical records before issuing a medical cannabis recommendation. The State Medical Board of Ohio provides a CTR physician search tool on its website to help residents locate physicians qualified to issue medical marijuana recommendations. The list also includes telemedicine providers who can issue medical marijuana recommendations without requiring in-person visits.

The State Medical Board of Ohio only permits medical doctors and osteopathic physicians with full unrestricted Ohio licenses to apply to obtain CTR licenses. Hence, only approved MDs and DOs may issue medical cannabis certifications.

Can a Minor Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio?

Yes. Ohio provides for minors to access medical marijuana if certain conditions are fulfilled. Firstly, for a minor to obtain medical marijuana, the individual must obtain medical marijuana recommendation from a CTR physician. Prior to a CTR physician issuing a medical marijuana recommendation, the physician will request that the minor obtain the consent of a parent or legal guardian agreeing to their treatment using medical marijuana. Ohio also requires minors to designate adult caregivers before legally possessing and using medical marijuana.

Can You Get a Medical Marijuana Card at 18 in Ohio?

Yes. In Ohio, a minor is someone under the age of 18. The state allows individuals registered in its medical marijuana program to apply for medical marijuana cards as adults when they turn 18. As adults, applicants do not need the consent of their parents or legal guardians and do not have to specify caregivers on their applications.

How to Renew Your Ohio Medical Marijuana Card

Within one month of your medical marijuana card expiring, you will receive an automated email from the Ohio medical marijuana patient registry with a link to renew your registration. Follow the link in the mail or visit the Ohio medical marijuana registry website to log in to your profile to renew your application. Once logged in, select the "Renew Card" button to start the registration renewal process. Upon making the payment for the renewal application, a new active registry card will be visible on the left-hand side of your account page with a new expiration date. Select the download button to save your card for printing.

Note that you must have an active medical marijuana certification before you can renew your medical marijuana card. Hence, you will need to schedule an appointment with your certifying physician at least once per year to renew your recommendation. For more information on renewal applications, read the renewal reference guide on the OMMCP website.

Can You Grow Medical Marijuana in Ohio?

The State of Ohio prohibits the personal cultivation of marijuana even for medical marijuana purposes. Therefore, registered patients and their caregivers cannot grow marijuana in Ohio.

Does Ohio Allow Medical Marijuana Patients to Designate Caregivers?

Yes. Under Ohio medical marijuana laws, minors and adults lacking the capacity to administer medical marijuana by themselves may designate caregivers for assistance. A medical marijuana caregiver in Ohio is someone who buys, transports, and possesses medical marijuana on behalf of a registered patient and administers it in accordance with the Ohio medical marijuana control program. A caregiver may be a parent, legal guardian, nurse, spouse, or another person with the legal capacity to care for a medical marijuana patient.

To be eligible for a medical marijuana caregiver status in Ohio, an individual must:

  • Be aged 21 or older, except where the individual is the legal parent of a minor patient

  • Be a resident of Ohio at the time of application and remain so during the individual's participation in the OMMCP

  • Agree to be designated as a caregiver to the registered patient

  • Not be the recommending physician for the patient

  • Register with the State Board of Pharmacy pursuant toRule 3796:7-2-03 of the Ohio Administrative Code

  • Not be included in the:

  • System for Award Management (SAM) in the United States General Services Administration

  • List of excluded entities and individuals maintained by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General

  • Online abuser registry maintained by the Department of Developmental Disabilities in Ohio

  • Internet-based sex offender and child-victim offender database

  • The National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW)

  • Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) inmates' internet-based database

  • Ohio Nurse Aide Registry, and there is a report detailing findings that the individual has abused or neglected a long-term care establishment or residential care facility resident or misappropriated the resident's property

Patients, and not the state, designate Ohio medical marijuana caregivers. Pursuant to Rule 3796:7-2-02 of the Ohio Administrative Code, no registered patient may designate more than two medical marijuana caregivers. An individual may also not serve as a medical marijuana caregiver for more than two patients. However, the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, at its discretion and upon a written request from a patient, may permit an individual to serve as a medical marijuana caregiver for more than two registered patients and for a patient to designate more than two medical marijuana caregivers:

  • In order to prevent unnecessary hardship to the patients

  • Where the patients' care is being provided under a hospice program

  • Where the medical marijuana caregiver is concurrently caring for multiple patients, who live in the same household, as the caregiver

Caregivers are required to obtain caregiver cards under the OMMCP. The caregiver card is different from the patient's medical marijuana card. Patients typically designate caregivers on their submissions when applying for inclusion in the Ohio medical marijuana patient and caregiver registry. However, per temporary regulations enacted by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy due to COVID-19, caregivers can now submit their own applications directly to the Board.

What Do You Need When Visiting a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Ohio?

In order to purchase medical marijuana from approved medical dispensaries in Ohio, you must present an active medical marijuana card, an active medical marijuana recommendation obtained from a CTR physician, and a government-issued identification card.

Is it Possible to Overdose on Cannabis in Ohio?

Yes. When marijuana use is too much, it may lead to an overdose, but there has been no record of fatal overdose. An overdose occurs when the substance used becomes toxic, and it affects the psychological functioning of such individuals and may lead to death. Marijuana overdose, unlike other controlled substances, may not be fatal, but overdosing on it will still have adverse effects. The active ingredient of marijuana, like Delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC), is responsible for most of the effects of marijuana when used. The THC typically resides in the body when it is used for a long time; having too much of it may have an adverse reaction such as:

  • Diminishing the user's ability to reason.

  • Short-term memory.

  • Daily cough and phlegm production.

  • Frequent lung illness.

  • Chronic bronchitis.

  • Increased risk of lung infection.

  • High levels of anxiety

  • Panic attack

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Difficulty conversing

  • Poor coordination

  • High or low blood pressure

  • Nausea and vomiting

The user may also be diagnosed with Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) and Marijuana Induced Psychosis (MIP). CHS causes the patient to suffer from severe vomiting and abdominal pain. What is considered marijuana overdose is relative because there is no standard dosage that causes overdose. Overdose occurrence varies among people, and the potency of the dosage administered varies. To better manage each situation, the patient should use the recommended dosage and report any adverse side effects to their physician.

If I am Pregnant, Can I Use Cannabis to Relieve Nausea in Ohio?

No, the use of marijuana during pregnancy or even after the birth of a child is not healthy. Since the decriminalization of marijuana in Ohio, pregnant women resort to the use of marijuana to alleviate pregnancy symptoms like nausea. Marijuana use is not recommended for pregnant women because it may lead to complications, especially for the unborn child. The American Academy of Pediatrics, Ohio Chapter believes that cannabis contains potent ingredients that may pose a health risk to the unborn child's health. According to the Center for Disease Control, the active chemicals in marijuana, primarily THC, can be harmful to the unborn child's health and development. The unborn child may suffer the following consequences as a result of marijuana use:

  • Small head circumference

  • Small length

  • Stillbirth

  • Low birth weight

  • Premature birth

Smoking marijuana by pregnant women is not the only way the unborn child is endangered. In recent times, pregnant women have resorted to the use of vaping pens and edibles. However, all means of using marijuana still pose threats to pregnant women. For instance, water vapors from vaping pens contain THC, which is an active ingredient of marijuana.

Marijuana use by pregnant women is highly not advised, not only because of its negative effect but also because there is no regulation. For further information on the downside effects of using marijuana during pregnancy, pregnant women can consult with their OB/GYN.

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