Medical Marijuana Access in Ohio
Some medical marijuana patients will claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana physicians will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.
At this time, HB 523, legally allows qualified and certified patients, to access no more than a 90-day supply of cannabis, for medical use only. In addition to specifically defining the terms of a “90-day supply”, the state board of pharmacy has no more than one year, from the effective date of it’s passage, to adopt rules that will determine procedures and standards, for the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, including the establishment of procedure and fees, retail dispensary licensing, and patient registration. In November 2017, the state issues 11 licenses for dispensaries to start cultivating medical marijuana.
Additionally, as per HB 523, smoking is not an approved method of delivery for patients, in Ohio. As per Ohio’s medical marijuana law, only the following forms of medical marijuana may be dispensed: plant material; oils; tinctures; and patches.
Even though Ohio has medical marijuana qualifications set up, there are still plenty of skeptics across the state who have their doubts regarding the plant’s medicinal qualities. For example, in April 2017, Governor John Kasich said during a news conference that he didn’t believe the state’s program would have any effect on the opioid epidemic plaguing Ohio. He flatly stated his opposition to a medical cannabis program in general.
What the governor fails to realize is solid research shows marijuana can, in fact, play a critical role in helping people get off of opioids and stay off of them.
The medical journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence published a study that showed hospitalizations for illnesses related to opioid addiction were reduced by 23 percent in states that have medical cannabis programs. In addition, the study showed that states with medical cannabis programs have 13 percent fewer occurrences of opioid overdoses than states that do not have such programs.
As long as state leaders such as Kasich continue to refuse to see just how beneficial medicinal marijuana will be, patients who meet medical marijuana qualifications in Ohio will suffer.
2017 proved to be a successful year for the medical marijuana program in Ohio. In November, 11 companies were issued licenses to grow medical marijuana. The state then issued 12 licenses for cultivation in December. More growers and cultivators are expected to be licensed, increasing the access medical marijuana patients have in Ohio.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we’ll continue to keep you updated on cannabis-related developments. We’ll also continue to provide vital information such as how to obtain an Ohio medical marijuana card and much more.