How to get a medical marijuana card in Ohio

Apply For a Ohio Medical Marijuana Card Online

What is an MMJ Card in Ohio?

An Ohio medical marijuana card is a state-issued identification card that lets the bearer buy, store, and ingest medical marijuana. House Bill 523, signed into law in June 2016, allows the use of medical marijuana in Ohio. It also created the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program to regulate the use of medical marijuana. Although the Federal Controlled Substance Act recognizes marijuana as a Schedule I drug, Ohio allows its residents to use it if they have medical marijuana cards. Patients are allowed to use medical marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of particularly debilitating medical conditions. The Ohio Medical Board maintains a list of qualifying conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In Ohio, card-carrying medical marijuana patients and caregivers can buy up to a 45-day supply of medical cannabis. What makes up a 45-day supply is determined by THC levels and can include creams, edibles, combustible flowers, lotions, oils, patches, and tinctures. However, patients must use their medication in private and are not allowed to smoke cannabis.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program coordinates the activities of medical marijuana patients and caregivers. It registers and issues medical marijuana cards to adults. It also accepts applications from children, but parents or legal guardians must provide their written consent and agree to function as caregivers. As of January 2020, there were more than 84,000 patients and 9,000 caregivers who had Ohio medical marijuana cards.

Who Can Apply for an MMJ Card in Ohio?

Ohio will allow you to apply for a medical marijuana identification card if you are:

  • An adult, 18 years of age or older

  • Persons under 18 years of age must assign a caregiver who is 21 years of age or older.

  • Dealing with a current diagnosis of a qualifying and debilitating medical condition

  • An Ohio resident with proof of residency in the form of:

  • A driver's license

  • A state-issued identification card

  • A patient of a Certified Ohio Marijuana Doctor who believes medical marijuana treatment is in your best interest.

Can a Minor Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio?

While Ohio allows minors with qualifying health conditions to use medical marijuana, it does not issue them medical marijuana cards. For a minor to obtain medical marijuana in Ohio, their parents or legal guardian must give their consent. To do this, the parent or guardian must apply to be the child's caregiver and take responsibility for buying, storing, and disseminating the recommended dosage.

What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Cards in Ohio?

You can only apply for a medical marijuana card in Ohio if you have a current diagnosis for any of the 22 qualifying conditions. If you do not have any of these conditions, your physician may not certify you and the Medical Marijuana Control Program will deny your application. Below is the list of qualifying medical conditions:

  • AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/ Lou Gehrig's disease
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cachexia, wasting syndrome
  • Chronic, severe, or intractable pain
  • Cancer
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Crohn's disease
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • HIV-positive status
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Spinal cord injury or disease
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Ulcerative colitis

How Do I Apply for an MMJ Card in Ohio?

If you are an Ohio state resident and are suffering from a debilitating medical condition that you think may qualify for marijuana treatment, follow these steps:

  • Look through the list of qualifying medical conditions and ensure that you have a diagnosis for one of them. The best way to prove that you have a diagnosis is to get a hold of medical records that state the diagnosis. You can get your medical records by submitting a patient access request at your doctor or specialist's office.

  • Having obtained your medical records, take a valid, state-issued ID card, and go to one of the state's medical marijuana clinics. These are special clinics with an active Certificate to Recommend (CTR) from the State Medical Board of Ohio. One of the doctors at the clinic will look through your medical records and then perform an exam. If the doctor's examination corroborates your medical records, they will give you a certification letter and an application form to register with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.

  • Complete the application form accurately, and attach a copy of a government-issued ID. The doctor will attach your certification to the application. Ensure that you keep a copy as it can serve as proof that you are an approved Ohio medical marijuana patient.

  • Parents of minors must accompany them to the medical marijuana clinic and complete a caregiver application form.

  • If you are applying with a caregiver, ensure that you inform the physician and fill out the caregiver's details.

  • The State Board of Pharmacy will look through your application and decide to approve or deny the request. If they approve your application, they will enroll you in the Patient Registry and send you a confirmation email.

  • Once you receive the confirmation email, you can pay the registration fee. Annual registration costs $50, but veterans, low-income earners, and individuals with disabilities are eligible for reduced fees.

  • After paying the registration fee, you can download a copy of your Ohio medical marijuana card and print it out.

How does a Primary Caregiver get an Ohio MMIC?

In Ohio, a caregiver is anyone that a medical marijuana patient designates to buy, transport, store, and administer medical cannabis on their behalf. Parents, guardians, nurses, spouses, or any other person can be a caregiver. A single patient can have up to three caregivers in Ohio, while a caregiver can care for up to three patients. To qualify as a caregiver in Ohio, you must:

  • Be above 21 years old;
  • Be an Ohio resident with a valid driver's license or state-issued ID

As with patients, caregivers must obtain Ohio medical marijuana identification cards to buy medical cannabis. The process for getting an Ohio MMJ card as a caregiver is as follows:

  • The patient and caregiver must agree to have a working relationship. In a child's case, the parent or legal guardian must be the caregiver or nominate someone else for the responsibility.
  • When the patient visits any of Ohio's medical marijuana clinics for an assessment, they must inform the doctor about their caregiver. If the doctor supports the patient's use of medical cannabis, they will give the Ohio Board of Pharmacy both the patient and the caregiver's names.
  • When the Ohio Board of Pharmacy registers the patient, the caregiver will get an email notification. The caregiver may then pay the $25 annual registration fee and print out their medical marijuana identification card.

How long does it take to get an Ohio MMIC?

If you are applying to get a medical marijuana card in Ohio, the initial consultation at the medical marijuana clinic may take about fifteen minutes. However, the entire application process - from the consultation to downloading your MMJ card - can take up to three weeks.

Getting an Ohio Medical Marijuana Card Online

As a prospective medical marijuana patient, there is no online process for obtaining an MMJ card in Ohio. You must visit a doctor at a certified medical marijuana clinic, and that doctor will send a recommendation on your behalf.

How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card Cost in Ohio?

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program charges $50 for patient MMJ cards and $25 for caregiver cards. Veterans, low-income earners, and individuals with disabilities may qualify for lower fees.

How Do I Renew My Ohio Medical Marijuana Card?

If you have a medical marijuana card, make plans to renew it at least 90 days before expiration or you risk losing your privileges. For an Ohio medical marijuana card, there are two expiry dates to bear in mind:

  • The recommendation expiry date (360 days after the initial recommendation): Your recommendation allows you to purchase medical cannabis from the state's dispensaries. Once your recommendation expires, you will no longer be able to buy medical cannabis unless you renew your card.
  • Your Ohio medical marijuana registration expiration date: Typically, your registration expiry date falls on the last day of the month of issue. If your registration expires before you renew your MMJ card, you will no longer be able to possess medical marijuana in Ohio.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program will send you an email notification a few weeks before the registration expiration date. Once you receive the email, log onto the Ohio MMCP website and click the "Renew Card" button. Complete the application form and pay the annual $50 fee for patients or $25 for caregivers.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in Ohio?

To apply for a medical cannabis card, you need to have the following documents:

  • Your medical records that clearly state your current diagnosis with one of the qualifying medical conditions;
  • Proof of Ohio residency, in the form of an Ohio-issued driver's license or identification card.

Are My Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act(HIPAA) is a federal law that guides client confidentiality processes in the healthcare industry. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program operates under HIPAA, and ensures that the public cannot, at any time, access client details. Thus, your details are kept confidential when you apply for a medical marijuana card in Ohio.

What information appears on an Ohio Medical Marijuana Card?

Individuals that take the time to peruse their Ohio medical marijuana identification cards will find the following details:

  • Status: Patient or Caregiver
  • Patient/Caregiver's name;
  • The card's issuance and expiry date;
  • The patient/caregiver's ID number.

Can someone track me down through the Ohio Registry?

Third parties cannot locate patients through the Ohio medical marijuana registry. The registry operates under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act(HIPAA) and keeps patient information strictly confidential.

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