Updated on December 9, 2017.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
In response to efforts to put the matter before voters, the Ohio Legislature passed a medical cannabis bill in 2016 which was then signed into law by Gov. John Kasich. One of the unique medical marijuana facts for Ohio is that the law went into effect in September of 2016, which was a much faster timeline than many other states that enacted medical cannabis laws. However, it was not expected to be fully implemented until a year later.
Medical Marijuana Facts for Ohio
- Like most states with medical marijuana programs, Ohio planned to take its time before implementing its new law. Legislators delegated implementation to three different agencies. The Department of Commerce was responsible for establishing rules to oversee growers as well as testing facilities. The Board of Pharmacy was responsible for overseeing dispensaries and the patient registry system, while the State Medical Board was to create rules for physicians recommending weed to patients.
- One of the more encouraging marijuana facts for Ohio is that patients are not limited to merely using cannabidiol (CBD) oil to address their symptoms. They can also use patches, tinctures and more. While they can’t smoke weed in a joint or a bong, they can use vaporization.
- There are several medical conditions that qualify for the medical cannabis program. These include AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, chronic pain, inflammatory bowel disease, spinal cord disease, traumatic brain injury and many others. The law allows for other conditions and diseases to be added to the list as warranted.
- In order to be able to qualify to use medicinal cannabis, patients have to receive a recommendation from a state-licensed physician. They must undergo an in-person examination and there must be an expectation that the recommending physician will provide the patient with long-term care. Following in-person examination and review of the patient’s medical history, ongoing care can be conducted using telemedicine.
- Patients may have no more than a 90-day supply of medical weed. However, insurers are not required to provide any sort of reimbursement for marijuana purchases and employers do not have to make any sort of accommodations for medical marijuana users.
- The Department of Commerce is responsible for establishing the number of growers that will be allowed in the state and will also be required to establish rules governing seed tracking systems, surveillance and other systems related to security.
- Patients and their caregivers who are registered in the medical cannabis system will be protected from not only arrests and convictions for legal possession, but also discrimination in any matters involving child custody. Patients are also protected from housing discrimination. As of February 17, the registry application fees for patients had not yet been established.
- Medical cannabis would not be available through a prescription, so it would be taxed like any other retail product. The Ohio sales tax was 5.75% as of February 2017, but local municipalities can set additional tax rates up to 8%.
If you’re interested in learning more Ohio marijuana facts, MarijuanaDoctors.com will keep you updated on a regular basis. Check back often with us to stay informed.