Policy Recommendations Ohio

2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations for Ohio

Ohio continues efforts to organize a functional medical cannabis system since first opening licensed medical cannabis businesses to serve patients in 2019. Of the 57 dispensaries licenced to serve the state, 51 are now open.44 Of the 32 authorized cultivators, twenty are operational. Meanwhile only 14 of 43 authorized medical cannabis processors have been licensed. 2019 also saw state regulators review petitions to include 27 new conditions eligible for participation in the state's medical 45access program, and reject all but one for Cachexia/Wasting Syndrome.

ASA applauds the state's efforts to deem medical cannabis businesses essential during the COVID pandemic, and organize other access features to assist patients such as permitting curbside pickup and allowing patients to reenroll in the state's program via telehealth appointments. Beyond these improvements Ohio regulators should also consider authorizing delivery from medical cannabis storefronts to patients to ease patient travel burdens and reduce the risk of patient social engagement in retail settings.

As Buckeye State lawmakers return for the 2021 legislative session, ASA also recommends expanding the list of qualifying conditions to include chronic pain and anxiety, as well as authorizing patients to cultivate medical cannabis at home. These recommendations will ensure that a larger population of eligible patients who would benefit from a safe access program organized by the state can participate, and provide ambulatory patients with a more cost-effective treatment option.