Ohio has taken a major step toward full implementation of the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program by officially opening enrollment for qualifying individuals to register as patients or caregivers.
On December 3, 2018, Ohio launched the medical marijuana registry for use by participating physicians. Physicians with state approval to recommend medical marijuana first enter patient and caregiver information into the registry. The registry then sends an e-mail to the patient or caregiver, prompts them to log in and complete a profile, and pay for a virtual medical marijuana card.
Patients with any of 21 qualifying ailments specified by the State Medical Board are eligible to participate, once approved by a qualifying physician. The cost of an annual registration is $50 for patients and $25 for caregivers, though Ohio is planning on offering fee reduction plans for veterans and eligible low-income individuals. Patients other than those seeking a discount will receive a virtual medical marijuana card immediately upon entering their information into the online registry.
Physicians participating in the Medical Marijuana Control Program are permitted to recommend medical marijuana in 90-day increments, with up to a maximum of three refills, meaning a given medical marijuana card can be valid for up to 360 days. Doctors are further authorized to establish guidelines pertaining to the patient’s medical marijuana use, such as requiring follow-up visits or establishing a usage plan.
Possessing a medical marijuana card allows patients and caregivers to purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary, though no Ohio dispensary has officially received the certificate of operation needed to open their doors. Nevertheless, the official launch of the patient and caregiver registry is seen as a major step forward for the state of Ohio which has been beset by administrative and legal setbacks since the Medical Marijuana Control Program was first passed in 2016.