Ohio, the Heart of It All, might not be a fully legal marijuana state, but it has taken significant strides in the medical marijuana industry.
Since the state legalized medical marijuana in 2016, the Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association (OMCIA) has made positive efforts to ensure that patients get the best of the industry.
Today, medical marijuana is comparatively cheaper in Ohio than in neighboring legal states that have had dispensaries open for longer.
Medical Marijuana in Ohio: Positive Numbers
The Ohio medical marijuana registry accounts for 148,950 patients with both an active recommendation and an active registration in the registry, placing it among the top seven states with the most state-legal medical marijuana patients.
Despite progress in the MMJ sphere, advocates are finding it difficult to push the initiative for adult-use cannabis legalization.
Unsurprisingly, more and more Ohioans are looking to have their names in the Ohio marijuana registry in an attempt to get legal weed.
Let’s look at the broad landscape of the medical marijuana registry in Ohio. Here, you’ll learn how to get a medical card in Ohio, the Ohio medical marijuana laws, and other vital titbits you should know about the Ohio medical marijuana registry.
Cannabis in Ohio: The Highs and Lows in History
In 1972, Oregon lit the torch for decriminalizing cannabis in the U.S. Although the torch burned bright and steady, most other states were reluctant to follow suit. In 1975, Ohio, alongside Colorado, California, Maine, and Alaska, took the bold step of becoming the first states to decriminalize cannabis.
Ohio cannabis decriminalization meant that instead of a jail term, the state considers the possession of up to 100g of marijuana a minor misdemeanor attracting a maximum fine of $150.
While this was a welcomed first step, there were high expectations that the state would be among the pioneers of cannabis legalization. The excitement faded into normalcy, and the expectations dragged on far longer than any marijuana advocate would have been willing to bear comfortably.
Between 1996 and 2000, the other five front runners — Oregon, Colorado, California, Maine, and Alaska — of weed decriminalization had legalized medical cannabis. Subsequently, between 2012 and 2016, all five states legalized adult-use cannabis.
All efforts to legalize Ohio medical cannabis and adult-use cannabis within that timeframe were futile.
It was not until 2016 that Ohio finally had a foot through the door of the multibillion-dollar cannabis industry with the legalization of medical cannabis via House Bill 523. Thus, laying the foundation for Ohio medical marijuana registry.
Origin of Ohio Medical Marijuana Laws: The Making of House Bill 523
Although Ohio has cheaper medical weed, it has one of the strictest regulations among the fully and partially legal states. This is thanks to House Bill 523. But before Gov. John Kasich signed HB 523 into law, there was Issue 3.
Issue 3 was a 2015 marijuana legalization measure that would have, in one fell swoop, made Ohio the first state to skip from prohibition straight to full legalization.
The measure provided for the simultaneous legalization of adult-use marijuana and the establishment of medical marijuana registry for medical patients in Ohio.
However, despite this measure’s promises for Ohioans, voters were solidly against it, partly because it would introduce a highly monopolistic cannabis market in the state.
The campaigners, ResponsibleOhio, had limited participation in the industry to 10 parties that funded the campaign. A move that various proponents of weed legalization in and outside the state frowned upon.
Dim, But Usable Light
While Ohioans said no to the measure, it sparked renewed and more intense discussion on marijuana. Also, polls showed that 9 in 10 Ohioan voters supported medical marijuana but barely showed support for recreational use, which is not unusual for a red state.
Arguments remained strong that Ohioans cannot wait any longer for an Ohio marijuana registry for medical marijuana. The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) came into the picture. They formed Ohioans for Medical Marijuana and started collecting signatures to push for the medical marijuana campaign.
Picking on voters’ interest and bearing in mind the upcoming 2016 elections, the state senators set up a medical marijuana task force.
The task force got to work on reviewing terms for Ohio medical marijuana laws and touring the state to get testimonies from physicians, patients, researchers, and other residents.
In April 2016, the statehouse received HB 523, and in one of the swiftest processes, the governor signed it into law in June 2016.
MPP and other advocates considered the bill to have a strict oversight and limited patient protections, but still better than those in New York and Minnesota.
Despite the speedy legalization process, it took another three years to set up the medical marijuana registry Ohio fully and have dispensaries running.
What is the Ohio Medical Marijuana Registry?
The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP) is the state’s establishment responsible for overseeing all the facets of medical marijuana in the state. This includes the Ohio marijuana registry.
By the provisions of HB 523, the MMCP works hand in hand with the State Medical Board of Ohio and some other agencies to ensure an alignment between the medical and commercial sides of the MMJ industry.
The State Medical Board of Ohio is in charge of improving the list of qualifying conditions and certifying physicians to recommend MMJ.
Currently, there are over 230 certified physicians in Ohio.
How to Register on the Ohio Medical Marijuana Registry
The Ohio marijuana registry is open to both patients and caregivers. To become a registered patient or caregiver in the medical marijuana registry Ohio, you will need to consult with a physician with an active certificate to recommend (CTR) marijuana.
To become a registered caregiver, you must be over 21 and will need a certified physician to link you to a patient. The physician then uses your information to create your profile in the registry. Consequently, a Board staff of the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program reviews the caregiver’s information before approving (or denying) their registration. Caregiver registration attracts a $25 registration fee.
For individuals (at least 18 years of age) registering as patients, if the physician confirms that you have a qualifying medical condition, they will recommend you for medical marijuana.
However, you can’t sign up for the registry on your own. Your physician will need your State ID information and email address. They will use this to create your profile in the Medical Marijuana Registry Ohio.
Then, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to activate your account and complete your registration. Patient registration attracts a $50 registration fee.
The Ohio MMJ registry makes provisions for an individual to register as both caregiver and patient. A certified physician can link a patient to another patient to make them their caregiver. However, a registrant with a dual profile pays the two registration fees.
Also, you can apply and qualify for a special status if you are an indigent patient or a veteran. The special status initiates a 50% discount on your registration and renewal fees.
How to Renew Your Registration
You will need to request and get a new recommendation from your physician. Then log into your Ohio Medical Marijuana Registry account and click on the “RENEW CARD” button to access the payment gateway and pay your renewal fee.
For patients, renewal should be done within 30 days of their registration’s expiration or after requesting and receiving a new recommendation from their recommending physician.
The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has to approve a caregiver again after initiating the process to renew their registration.
Note: the MMCP does not send automated emails to caregivers and patients with a link to renew their registration.
IDs to Use for Ohio Marijuana Registry
Physicians with active CTR have the authority to accept any of the following means of identification when recommending a patient for MMJ:
- State-issued driver’s license or any other ID issued by the Ohio BMV
- A valid U.S. passport or passport card
- Birth certificate from any state in the U.S.
- Certificate of naturalization
- Permanent resident card
- Driver’s license from any state in the U.S.
Physicians can confirm a patient or caregiver’s Ohio residency using any of the following:
- 1099 form
- Child support statement or account summary
- Ohio BMV postcards or BMV correspondence
- Financial institution statement
- Federal or Ohio income tax return filing
- Court order of probation, parole, or mandatory release
Qualifying Conditions for Ohio Marijuana
The qualifying conditions for a medical card in Ohio include:
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Chronic migraines
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
- Hepatitis C
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Pain that is either of the following nature: (i) Chronic and severe; or (ii) Intractable
- Parkinson’s disease
- Positive status for HIV
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sickle cell anemia
- Spinal cord disease or injury
- Terminal illness
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ulcerative colitis
Ohio Medical Marijuana Laws for Patients and Caregivers
As a registered medical marijuana patient, you must be aware of the fundamentals of Ohio medical marijuana laws so you don’t err on the side of the law.
Although the state decriminalized small amounts of cannabis, the state can fine you $150 for possessing amounts up to 100 grams or $250 for amounts between 100 – 200 grams.
In some cases, the state might suspend your driver’s license for six months. Also, possession above 200 grams is considered a felony.
While these fines mostly apply to non-registered users, MMJ card-carrying patients can face penalties for breaking any of the Ohio medical marijuana laws.
In summary, the Ohio medical marijuana laws include the following:
Ohio Marijuana Cultivation Laws
Patients and caregivers cannot cultivate their own marijuana. Doing so attracts a fine or a jail term, depending on the quantity.
Ohio Marijuana Possession Limit
Ohio has a possession tier set for patients. It is the duty of the recommending physician to determine a patient’s possession tier depending on their condition.
- Tier I patients can possess up to eight ounces of approved MMJ products, with THC potency less than 23%.
- Tier II patients can possess up to 5.3 ounces of THC products, with THC potency between 23% and 35%.
The amount of medical marijuana in your possession must not exceed a 90-day supply. Also, patients and caregivers with an active MMJ card cannot offer their medical marijuana to someone else.
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy recommends that patients and caregivers use a custom calculator to determine their 90-day supply limit.
The only approved forms of cannabis products in Ohio are oils, edibles, patches, tinctures, or herbal materials.
Invariably, if your question is, “can you smoke medical marijuana in Ohio?” The answer is no — you cannot smoke dried flower or vapes.
How to Get a Medical Card in Ohio
A medical marijuana card offers you the benefit of legal protections and legally accessing and possessing approved cannabis products in Ohio. Also, you get to obtain higher quality, higher potency marijuana at a cheaper rate.
Are you unsure of how to get a medical card in Ohio? Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Here at Elevate Holistics, you can get your OH medical marijuana card recommendation entirely online, right from the comfort of your home. Once you get your medical recommendation, we can help you register with the state and get your name on Ohio Medical Marijuana Registry.
All you have to do is click here to get started.
Being a registered patient on the Ohio marijuana registry gives you an automatic qualification for a medical marijuana card, which you can use to purchase medical marijuana from any state-licensed dispensary.
The confirmation email you will receive while registering also includes instructions on how to get your MMJ card. You can activate, pay for, download, and print your card right from your registry account.
How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card Cost in Ohio?
For patients, the annual cost of a medical card is $50, while it is only $25 for caregivers. Indigents and veterans can apply for special status and get up to a 50% discount on the annual fees.
Elevate Holistics: Getting a Medical Marijuana Card Online in Ohio
Due to a few limitations, some patients might find it hard to get a medical marijuana card in Ohio. However, Elevate Holistics, an approved telehealth provider, makes the process of getting a medical card easier and more convenient for patients.
We streamline MMCP processes for Ohioan patients, creating a seamless 3-step process for patients to get their MMJ cards easily.
Elevate Holistics provides secure virtual consultations with state-certified medical marijuana doctors who can approve you for an MMJ card. Plus, we can answer all your questions about cannabis, cannabinoids, and more.
Want to learn more about how to get a medical card in Ohio or actually get one within 48 hours? Click the button below to book a consultation.