Updated on November 22, 2021. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program is responsible for maintaining patient registration. They also license businesses and guide physicians who refer patients to the Ohio medical marijuana program. There are three steps involved in getting your medical card in Ohio. Start by making sure you have one of the qualifying health conditions. These are the specific disorders or chronic illnesses that are approved for the Ohio medical marijuana program. You will need written confirmation of the diagnosis from your family doctor.
The second step is to schedule and attend an appointment with a physician. The medical card health evaluation reviews your current symptoms, medications, and other wellness factors. This health check determines if medical cannabis is a safe treatment option for you. If certified by a physician, the doctor will create your patient profile for you. Then you will receive an activation email. The email link is only good for ninety (90) days. You will create your patient profile from that link and then upload the rest of the required information to complete your application.
Patients are required to pay a $50 registration fee. If you are a caregiver registering with the Ohio medical cannabis program, the fee is $25. If you are a veteran or have indigenous status, you may qualify for a discount on the registration fees. If your application has been accepted, you will receive your medical card. It can take between 3-4 weeks to process. Ohio does not issue a temporary card or printable version. You must wait for your permanent card to arrive before you can visit a dispensary.
Advocates and pro-cannabis organizations are rallying to get a vote to legalize marijuana on the November 2022 ballot in Ohio. In 2015, the vote for legal cannabis failed, with 64.35% of Ohio residents voting against legalization. Only 35.65% of voters were in favor of it.
This time, rather than going straight to a public vote, lobbyists take proposed legislation to the House of Representatives first. A different approach to try to get political support prior to the 2022 election. One of the leading organizations is run by Cleveland Attorney Tom Haren. Mr. Haren is the spokesperson for the “Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.”
The state of Ohio has approved a list of medical conditions and symptoms that can make patients eligible to receive a medical card. In February 2021, the State Medical Board for Ohio added four new symptoms and diagnoses to the list.
Patients in Ohio can apply for a medical card if they have one or more of the following diagnosed conditions:
Patients need to have a formal and updated or recent diagnosis of the health condition on record. They must provide this proof of diagnosis as part of the medical card application process. If you are a patient diagnosed a long time ago, you will need to have your primary care provider update the diagnosis in your medical records.
Patients who are minors (under the age of eighteen (18) years) or adults who require assisted care can access medical cannabis with a caregiver. A caregiver must be aged twenty-one (21) years or older and have no criminal record. They must also be a legal guardian of the patient. A resident of Ohio can only be a caregiver of a maximum of two (2) patients in the medical card program.
In order to become a caregiver, the individual has to apply for and receive an Ohio medical card. The name of the patient they are providing care for will be on the card. There is a $50 application fee for caregivers, but discounts are available for veterans or indigenous residents.
The caregiver is not authorized to use cannabis themselves. But they are legally protected and able to purchase, transport, prepare and help administer medical marijuana for the patient they care for.
Since 2016, there are many new medical cannabis dispensaries in Ohio. Make sure that you are visiting a dispensary that has been licensed by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy (OBP). Patients are only legally protected if they purchase from a licensed dispensary and possess under the maximum amount of cannabis permitted by law.
If you have a medical card, you are only permitted to vape, or consume cannabis in private. Ideally, at home. Public consumption is not allowed and you can be issued a fine.
Can you make edibles or concentrates at home in Ohio?
Patients with an Ohio medical card are legally prohibited from making concentrates at home. Growing cannabis plants at home is also illegal, and you can be fined for creating your own edibles. Even with cannabis products legally purchased from an Ohio dispensary.
The “Act to Control and Regulate Adult-Use Cannabis” is the name of the proposed legislation that would legalize cannabis in Ohio for adult-use. The act also contains a plan to use 10% of the tax on recreational marijuana sales for education on cannabis safety and use, and addiction treatment.
If the Act passes the Ohio Senate and becomes law, every medical cannabis dispensary in the state will automatically be licensed to sell recreational (adult-use) products to adults 21 and up. However, the Ohio Attorney General rejected the Act on August 5, 2021.
The “Act to Control and Regulate Adult-Use Cannabis” will need to be rewritten and submitted again for approval. Lawmakers were not comfortable with some of the language and terms of the proposed laws.
Ohio has been slowly moving toward cannabis legalization through decriminalization measures that started back in the early 1970s.
August, 1975—Gov. James Rhodes signs a bill to decriminalize cannabis. Ohio is the sixth state to create laws to reduce sentences and amend the Ohio Revised Code with HB 300. Cannabis possession up to 100 grams becomes a minor misdemeanor with a fine of $150. Over 100 grams but less than 200 grams of marijuana would result in 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.
Source Web 2021: supremecourt.ohio.gov
September, 2011—By the 129th General Assembly of Ohio, HB 86 was passed. This law revises and reduces some of the penalties for possession of marihuana, but increases penalties for trafficking the controlled substance.
Source Web 2021: lsc.ohio.gov
September, 2012—By the 129th General Assembly of Ohio, SB 337 was passed. This reduces the criminal penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia to a minor misdemeanor charge.
Source Web 2021: lsc.ohio.gov
Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program
77 South High Street, 17th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 1-833-4OH-MMCP (464-6627)
Email: Ohio Medical Marijuana Program
Website: Ohio Medical Marijuana Program
In Ohio, telemedicine or Telehealth is the use of electronic communications to provide healthcare services and a host of health-related information including, physical therapy and related information services over small or large distances. Only interactive, synchronous, real-time care is recognized by Ohio’s Medicaid program as telemedicine. No store-and-forward, email/fax/phone or home health monitoring is reimbursed by the program.
Doctors consultations and online prescriptions are covered by Ohio’s telemedicine program, but physicians can only prescribe medication online if there has been a pre-established physician-patient relationship – which can be established through telemedicine. So, consultations for medical marijuana treatment can be initiated via telemedicine.
The State of Ohio has a legalized medical marijuana program, which allows patients to receive a medical marijuana recommendation from a certified physician, and apply for a state-issued Ohio Medical Marijuana Card, permitting the patient to purchase marijuana for medicinal use, as per Ohio state guidelines.
Since the Ohio medical marijuana program is still changing their laws and new Ohio medical marijuana laws are being enacted on a regular basis, please be sure to visit our site frequently to get the most updated laws as it pertains to the Ohio medical marijuana program. Please click a corresponding link to find out more about Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program. We have compiled the following Ohio medical marijuana index of information to serve as a medical library to our users for legal reference of Ohio’s laws, guidelines and program details regarding medical cannabis use in Ohio.
Please note: In order to become a legal medical marijuana patient you must first have a qualifying condition as outlined by the department of health services and/or department of justice. For a comprehensive list of Ohio’s qualifying medical marijuana conditions, please visit our qualifying conditions section located on the top of our menu under “legal states”.