Ohio Medical Marijuana: What You Should Know

Jan, 2021
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Because of the mounting evidence supporting cannabis’ potential to treat and relieve a variety of medical conditions, Ohio lawmakers passed House Bill 523 in June 2016. Ohio marijuana legalization established rules for the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP) and made it legal for patients to obtain medicinal cannabis with a medical marijuana card. 

Get your certification or renewal today with one of our MMJ doctors!

Even though medical marijuana is legal in your state, there are always rules and regulations to follow. Oftentimes, these flux as the program matures. Naturally, you’ll have questions about the process for getting a medical marijuana card. What can and can’t do once you possess your patient ID? In this article, we’ll go over medical marijuana consumption and possession rules, out-of-state medical cards, how Ohioans are weighing in on marijuana in the Buckeye State, and more.

The Basics of Ohio Medical Marijuana Laws

Ohio Medical Marijuana Registry

To begin with, you must meet the basic qualifications to register as an MMJ patient in Ohio. Therefore, you must be:

  • At least 18 years of age (or a minor with an adult caregiver and physician certification)
  • A legal resident of Ohio with proof of residency
  • Diagnosed with one of the qualifying conditions (see below)
  • Recommended for medical marijuana by a certified to recommend (CTR) Ohio physician who has diagnosed you with a qualifying condition  

Once you know you meet the basic criteria to apply, you can start the process of obtaining your medical card. In Ohio, here are the five basic steps to complete:

  1. See a medical marijuana doctor. Elevate Holistics has same-day appointments available with compassionate MMJ doctors online.
  2. After your doctor visit, check your email for a link from the Ohio Medical marijuana (OHMM) Patient Registry. 
  3. Register on the OHMM Patient Registry. 
  4. Pay the patient fee for your medical card.
  5. Visit a dispensary!

Check out Elevate’s step-by-step guide for more details about how to get a medical marijuana card in Ohio.

Ohio medical marijuana conditions

To qualify for an Ohio marijuana card, you must visit a certified physician. This doctor will be able to recommend MMJ for one of the following conditions:

  • AIDS
  • Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cachexia (added by Medical Board on 7/8/2020)
  • 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 (PTSD)
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis

Can You Get a Card Without a Condition?

If you’re not sure that you have a qualifying condition, check out this article on getting a card without a condition. Also, this informative article about good reasons to get an MMJ card

Ohio Medical Cannabis Consumption Laws

Once you have your Ohio MMJ card, you may purchase from an approved Ohio medical marijuana dispensary with an active certificate of operation issued by the state board of pharmacy. 

The following links provide information on dispensaries with a certificate of operation: 

List of Ohio Medical Marijuana Dispensaries with Certificates of Operation

According to the MMJ rules for patients and caregivers, medical marijuana shall not be possessed or administered at any public or private place where it is prohibited. 

Available Authorized Forms of Medical Marijuana

According to the OMMCP, the following medical cannabis forms are allowed to in Ohio:

  • Oils
  • Tinctures
  • Plant material
  • Edibles
  • Lotions
  • Creams
  • Patches

Smoking marijuana (combustion) is not permitted. However, patients are allowed to vape (read our blog about the ins and outs of vaporization). The law also prohibits any form of medicinal cannabis that is attractive to children.

To learn about the differences between smoking and vaping, watch our short video bellow.

How Much Medical Marijuana Can You Buy Per Month in Ohio?

You may not have more than a 90-day supply of cannabis. Visit the patient and caregiver page for more information on how a 90-day supply is calculated.

Ohio and Out-of-State Medical Cards

You may be wondering if you can use your Ohio medical card in another state. When a cannabis-friendly state recognizes a patient’s card from another state, this is known as medical marijuana reciprocity. 

States that practice medical marijuana reciprocity include:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.

It’s important to keep in mind that the rules of reciprocity in each state vary according to program. Some leave it up to a dispensary’s discretion whether to sell to an out-of-state patient. Other states, like New Hampshire, only protect out-of-state cardholders from criminal charges but do not allow them to purchase from dispensaries.

Like the legalization of medical marijuana, these rules are constantly changing to meet the demands of patients and the market. So, it’s a good idea to check the particular state you want to visit. 

As you will see in the next section, many Ohioans find the price of marijuana in the Buckeye State to be too steep. Subsequently, a lot of these patients are taking shopping trips into Michigan.

As of January 2021, Ohio still does not accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards. This could change in the future. 

Can You Take Medical Marijuana Across State Lines?

Because all marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, the answer is no. However, it is common knowledge that it is a regular practice surrounding states with recreational and medicinal use markets. States, including Ohio and Michigan, are working to find ways to protect patients who purchase medical marijuana across state lines and then bring it home.

Problems with the Medical Cannabis Program

In September 2020, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law’s Drug Enforcement and Policy Center published a study that evaluated the public satisfaction and perception of the OMMCP after two years in operation. 

Medical Cannabis Prices Are Too High

The number one reason that 60% of Ohio residents are dissatisfied with Ohio’s medical marijuana program is that it is too expensive. The Columbia Dispatch reports that patients have repeatedly told them that they go to Michigan to get cheaper cannabis medicine. 

The study also noted that the OMMCP is “not fully operational, creating concerns around persistent delays and the overall functionality of the program.” Additionally, it reported that some Ohio medical cannabis businesses are unhappy that the market is being constrained and called for more expansion of dispensaries and cultivation facilities. They have lamented that Ohio lags far behind Pennsylvania in the development of its program.

In Some States the MMJ Market Takes Time

It is important to remember that fledgling programs often have these growing pains while they mature. However, complaints and bringing attention to patient and business-owner frustration is part of the recipe for getting it right. If Ohio hopes to have a robust medical cannabis economy, they will need to adapt and conform. Sometimes, the best way is to look at how other states have become successful and copy their success. However, lawmakers in Ohio aren’t the keenest on cannabis reform. In the Adult Use section below, you will see how the outdated beliefs of many legislators could be causing the sluggish MMJ market in Ohio. 

Can Ohio Medical Marijuana Patients Buy in Michigan?

Medical marijuana patients in Ohio can and do buy their medicinal cannabis in Michigan. However, it is not legal to bring MMJ purchased at a legal dispensary in one state across state lines, even if both states have legalized medical cannabis.

Ohio MMJ Patients Fear Losing Their Jobs

Another problem the Ohio State University study fleshed out was that many patients are afraid of drug tests and losing their jobs. According to the survey, 86.1% of the participants said they have a qualifying condition to use Ohio medical marijuanas, but only 51.5% actually use MMJ. The top two reasons they gave for not using their lawful access to medical marijuana were cost and fear of losing their jobs.

Ohio and Adult Use

According to a News 5 Cleveland article from November 2020, conservative attitudes toward cannabis in Ohio congress, and across the country, may be forced to change. Ultimately, this is because attitudes toward marijuana—medicinal and recreational—on both sides of the aisle are changing. 

In November 2020 elections, five states (New Jersey, Montana, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Arizona) passed marijuana initiatives. More impressively, New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota, and Arizona voters all approved adult use recreational marijuana. The article called this possibly, “one of the first signs of a Green Wave.” 

With more conservatives around the U.S. voting for cannabis programs, it appears that marijuana is finally becoming a non-partisan issue. Unfortunately, Ohio is still falling short, which may be keeping its current MMJ program stifled and lagging compared to neighboring states’ markets.

Ohio’s adult-use initiative fell short of success on the November ballot. Coronavirus was partially to blame. However, experts say it’s the lack of political appetite in Ohio’s Statehouse to create a recreational use program that is hindering cannabis progress in the Buckeye State.

Telehealth and MMJ Doctors in Ohio

On March 18, 2020, the State Medical Board of Ohio met and voted to suspend enforcement of telemedicine regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will allow certified to recommend (CTR) doctors in Ohio to use televisits in place of in-person visits. Patients may now have appointments via phone, tablet, or computer, to get their Ohio medical marijuana card recommendations and renewals. 

Is There a Weed Doctor Near Me?

It’s now much easier to get your Ohio medical card. Elevate Holistics offers hassle-free access to Ohio medical marijuana doctors. You can book a same-day telemedicine appointment and get your certified physician recommendation in minutes—all from the privacy of your home. We are a HIPAA compliant cannabis doctor platform that is easy-to-use, so you know your patient information is secure. 

Much More About Ohio Medical Marijuana …

Do MMJ patients have gun rights in Ohio? We’ve got the details.

Need a caregiver? Find out the OMMCP process.

See why Pennsylvania’s MMJ program is doing so well.

Find out what’s going on with medical cannabis in Maryland.

Come represent the Buckeye State by joining Elevate Holistics' cannabis community on Facebook!