House Bill 523, effective on September 8, 2016, legalizes medical marijuana in Ohio. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program will allow people with certain medical conditions, upon the recommendation of an Ohio-licensed physician certified by the State Medical Board, to purchase and use medical marijuana. While the legislation set a basic framework for the program, it left the task of establishing specific rules and guidelines for the cultivation, processing, testing, dispensing and medical use of marijuana to different state agencies. This site is designed to keep Ohioans informed about the development of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program, including important timelines in the rule-making process and the announcement of opportunities for public input.
01. When will the Medical Marijuana Control Program start?
The Ohio Department of Commerce and the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy are required by law to take all actions necessary to ensure that Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program is fully operational no later than September 2018. At that time, there will be an established structure for Ohioans with a qualifying medical condition to obtain a recommendation for medical marijuana, purchase medical marijuana from a licensed dispensary, and consume medical marijuana.
01. Does Ohio recognize medical marijuana cards issued by other states?
Currently, Ohio does not recognize medical marijuana registry cards issued in other states. The law requires that the Board of Pharmacy attempt in good faith to negotiate and enter into reciprocity agreements with other states. If Ohio does enter into a reciprocity agreement with another state, more information will be posted to the OMMCP website.
02. Why will it take two years to get Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program up and running?
The process to stand up the Medical Marijuana Control Program must be thoughtful and deliberate to ensure the safety of the public and to promote access to a safe product. Administrative rules are under development and will follow the process outlined in Chapter 119 of the Ohio Revised Code, including review by the Common Sense Initiative and the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review. In the case of the State Medical Board of Ohio and the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy, rules must also receive input and approval from their respective appointed boards. The state of Ohio is committed to an open and transparent process when setting up the regulatory framework for medical marijuana. This website will serve as a central resource for regular updates and opportunity to provide input on rule development and program implementation.
03. What are the qualifying medical conditions that may be treated with medical marijuana?
Certified physicians may recommend medical marijuana only for the treatment of a qualifying medical condition. Under Ohio law, all of the following are qualifying medical conditions: AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable, Parkinson’s disease, positive status for HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and ulcerative colitis.
04. Do I need to register in order to obtain medical marijuana?
Yes. Patients seeking to use medical marijuana and caregivers seeking to assist a patient in the use of medical marijuana will be required to apply to the Board of Pharmacy for a registration card. The physician who holds a certificate to recommend issued by the Medical Board and is treating the patient must submit the application on the patient's or caregiver's behalf. The Board of Pharmacy is currently developing rules on how this process works including fees associated with registration and the registration renewal period. All rules on patient and caregiver registration must be finalized no later than September 2017.
05. Will my registration status be made publicly available?
No. The law prohibits the Board of Pharmacy, as well as licensed dispensaries, from making personal identifying information public. Physicians and those employed by dispensaries will be able to verify a patient or caregiver’s registration.
06. Where will I be able to obtain medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana will be available from retail dispensaries licensed by the Board of Pharmacy. The Board of Pharmacy is currently developing rules on the licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries.
07. What forms of medical marijuana will be available?
The following forms of medical marijuana are permitted: oils, tinctures, plant material, edibles and patches. The law prohibits the use of medical marijuana by smoking or combustion, but does allows for vaporization (vaping). The law prohibits any form that is attractive children.
08. Will I be permitted to grow medical marijuana for personal consumption?
No. The law prohibits the cultivation of medical marijuana for personal, family, or household use.
09. How much medical marijuana will a registered patient or caregiver be able to possess at one time?
The amount of medical marijuana possessed by a registered patient or caregiver must not exceed a 90-day supply. The Board of Pharmacy will be developing rules to determine the amount of medical marijuana that equals a 90-day supply. In the case of a registered caregiver who provides care to more than one registered patient, the caregiver must maintain separate inventories of medical marijuana for each patient.
10. Will I be able to use my medical marijuana registration card in other states? Will an out-of-state card be recognized in Ohio?
The law requires that the Board of Pharmacy attempt to negotiate and enter into reciprocity agreements with other states. Before entering into an agreement with another state, the Board must determine that both of the following apply: (1) The eligibility requirements imposed by the other state in order to obtain a registry identification card are substantially comparable to Ohio's requirements; and, (2) The other state recognizes a patient or caregiver registration and identification card issued in Ohio.
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