Becoming a Patient in Ohio

Summary

Patients with one or more of the eligible conditions can possess up to a 90-day supply of medicine. Rules will be drafted and available for public comment in late 2016. Final rules will be implemented at various stages in 2017. The program is administered by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, which is comprised of agencies such as the Department of Commerce and Board of Pharmacy. Dispensaries will likely open in 2018.

What's Legal

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program will determine the amount of medicine that comprised a 90-day supply. Allowed forms of medicine include (1) oils; (2) tinctures; (3) plant material; (4) edibles; (5) patches; (6) any additional forms added through rulemaking.

Prior to the opening of dispensaries, patients may obtain eligibility for an affirmative defense, but must take several steps to do so. A patient must obtain a written statement from their physician stating (1) the patient and physician are in a bona-fide relationship, (2) the patient has a qualifying condition, (3) the physician has examined the prescription history of the patient from the past year, (4) the physician has discussed the benefits and potential risks with the patient, and (5) the physician agrees that the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks.

Eligible Conditions

  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome;
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
  • 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 of the following:
    1. Chronic and severe;
    2. 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;
  • Ulcerative colitis;
  • Any other disease or condition added by the state medical board

Doctor

The state requires that physicians register prior to issuing medical cannabis recommendations. In late 2016 and 2017, the state will develop rules regarding physician recommendations.

Access/ Caregivers

Patients may designate a caregiver to assist them with obtaining and administering their medicine. Caregivers have all the same legal protections as patients except that they may not consume the patient's medicine. Caregivers can serve multiple patients but must maintain separate inventories for each.

Consumption

The smoking or combustion of cannabis is forbidden. Patients may vaporize or use other non-smoked forms to when taking their medicine.

Age Limits

If the person is under 18 years of age, the patient's doctor must examine them, and the patient's parent or guardian must apply on behalf of the patient, and will act as the designated caregiver.

Confidentiality

The state will maintain a list of the persons to whom they have issued registry ID cards and is required to verify the identity of patients to local and state law enforcement upon request. This list is confidential. 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

Housing

A patient's medical cannabis status cannot be the sole or primary basis for a landlord rejecting or evicting a tenant.

Employment

Patients are not protecting from employment discrimination. Patients are forbidden from taking legal action against an employer who has dismissed them for their medical cannabis use.

Insurance

Ohio's medical marijuana law does not require a governmental, private, or any other health insurance provider or health care service plan to be liable for any claim for reimbursement for the medical use of marijuana.

Out of State Patients

Ohio does not have automatic reciprocity for out of state patients. However, the state may enter into reciprocity agreements with other states. Patients visiting the state should check with the state Medical Marijuana Control Program for the most current information regarding reciprocity.

For more information

Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program contact form

Quick Links:

Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program