Ohio has struggled to implement a successful, modern cannabis policy. Although Ohio medical marijuana passed in 2016, many Ohio cannabis patients have criticized the way the program has been implemented, citing insufficient supply, high prices, and other problems. However, as the Ohio cannabis economy picks up, growers and new dispensaries should alleviate these issues. Here’s how to get a medical marijuana card in Ohio.
Quick Guide to Ohio MMJ
There are three basic steps to getting your medical marijuana card in Ohio:
- Determine (with your doctor) if your condition qualifies for cannabis treatment. Ohio law enables doctors to treat patients for a number of serious illnesses. MMJ can also be prescribed for serious pain.
- Visit a certified physician. Ohio requires you to visit a physician with a special certification to recommend cannabis. If the physician believes cannabis is an appropriate treatment, they’ll enter you in the database. You’ll need to bring an accepted ID card (e.g. an Ohio driver’s license) to your appointment.
- Confirm and Pay For Your Registration. Once your doctor signs you up, you’ll receive an email. You’ll be able to confirm your license, pay the $50 fee, and download your card in a few steps.
How to Get an Ohio Medical Marijuana Card in Three Steps
1. Determine if your condition qualifies for MMJ in Ohio
- AIDS, or HIV-positive status
- ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
- Crohn’s disease
- Seizure disorders (e.g. epilepsy)
- Hepatitis C
- IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sickle cell anemia
- Spinal cord injury or disease
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ulcerative colitis.
However, Ohio also allows medical cannabis as a treatment for “pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable,” with no rule that it needs to stem from a particular illness. Additionally, the State Medical Board of Ohio periodically holds submission periods, when citizens can request that new conditions be added to the medical program. There’s a good chance that there will be additional illnesses added over the coming years.
2. Visit a CTR Certified Physician
To register patients for medical cannabis, a physician needs to have a Certificate to Recommend (CTR) from Ohio’s State Medical Board. Check with your primary care doctor to see if they have a CTR. Heally can take the stress out of applying for your medical card by connecting you with an Ohio CTR certified doctor
You’ll need to make an in-person visit, and bring along an Ohio Driver’s License, State ID or Passport. During your visit, the doctor will evaluate whether medical cannabis is an appropriate treatment for your condition. If they agree it is, they’ll submit a recommendation to the patient registry. Doctors can recommend up to one year of treatment (a 90-day prescription with three refills.) After one year, you’ll need another appointment to be reevaluated by your MMJ doctor.
3. Confirm and Pay For Your Registration
One nice thing about Ohio’s medical marijuana program is that there’s not a lot of paperwork for patients. Once the doctor registers you, you’ll receive a confirmation email inviting you to complete your registration (check your spam folder if you don’t see it.)
Click the link in the email. You’ll be directed to create a password, and log in to Ohio’s medical cannabis system. Then simply make a $50 payment and download your card. You can either print out a copy or keep one on your phone to show at the dispensary.
Purchasing Cannabis in Ohio
Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to purchase medical cannabis products at an Ohio dispensary. Bring your Ohio medical marijuana card, and the same ID card you used for your doctor’s office visit. Ohio associates whatever ID you showed the doctor with your MMJ card, so you may not be able to purchase cannabis with a different legal ID card.
Ohioans and Michigan Medical Cannabis
Right now, cannabis supplies are low and prices are high in Ohio. As of March, 2019, an ounce of cannabis costs more than twice as much as in Michigan, and many areas are not serviced by a local dispensary. Michigan does accept Ohio medical marijuana cards, but unfortunately, cannabis purchased in Michigan becomes illegal once it enters Ohio — even if you’re a legal medical patient.
It’s unclear to what degree that law will actually be enforced against patients with a valid Ohio card, but it’s best to be cautious. Patients should be aware of how the Ohio criminal justice system treats marijuana outside of the medical program. Possession of up to 100 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by a $150 fine or less. At 200 grams, users can face up to 30 days in jail and a $200 fine, and at higher levels, they face felony charges and longer jail terms.
Ohio Medical Cannabis Risks and Restrictions
Ohio’s medical marijuana law is more restrictive than many states, which could put you at legal risk if you don’t know the law. While typically MMJ programs allow patients and caregivers to grow a small supply for medicinal use, Ohio patients cannot legally grow cannabis.
Additionally, smoking cannabis is still illegal for Ohioans, as is carrying pipes, bongs or other paraphernalia used to smoke MMJ. However, medical users can legally carry vaporizers, and use other forms of cannabis such as tinctures and edibles.
Ohio is also very strict about driving under the influence of cannabis. Officers can charge you based solely on a field sobriety test or acting in a way that they perceive as showing impairment.
Finally, Ohio does not offer legal protection to medical cannabis users. Your boss can fire you for a positive drug test, and you will be ineligible to receive unemployment — even if you have a valid medical card.
Cannabis CBD Products for Ohioans
Ohio legalizing medical cannabis is a good start, but the program suffers from deep flaws. It’s difficult and expensive to legally obtain marijuana in the state, and it may put you at risk of losing your employment.
Fortunately, CBD products are completely legal in Ohio, providing many of the healing benefits of cannabis without the intoxication of THC. Here are some great products for medical cannabis users.
This powerful CBD tincture is produced naturally from high-quality hemp grown in Colorado and extracted without any harsh chemicals or solvents. This is a great all-around tincture, useful for anything from arthritis and migraines to insomnia.
Elixinol’s Organic Balance Tincture is a full-spectrum tincture, rich in CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes, enhancing the healing properties of cannabis. It’s also a certified organic USDA tincture, ensuring a pure extract from a responsibly grown plant.
Get the right dose of CBD every time! These capsules are made from Non-GMO cannabis, with 30mg of CBD. The product is made with no additives or preservatives, and lab-tested to ensure purity and consistent dosage.
If you’re just hurting in a few spots, this is the topical CBD product for you. Elixinol Extra Strength features 250mg of CBD in a powerful full-spectrum extract, in an all-natural lotion. Made without parabens, phthalates and other synthetic ingredients, this plant-based lotion is perfect for post-workout aches and pains, as well as other localized pain and discomfort.