• How the Ohio Medical Marijuana Program Works

Wellspring Fields
October 7, 2020

Medical marijuana was legalized for sale in Ohio in 2016 but could not move forward with actual sales until House Bill 523 was enacted after cutting through regulatory red tape in 2019. Since that time, dispensaries and growers have been opening up to provide Ohioans with the highest quality products and services for all their needs. Because it is highly regulated, the process to get licensed to open can take awhile. Additionally, anyone looking to purchase medical marijuana must walk through a process first. Find out how the Ohio Medical Marijuana Program works and what steps you can take to get started. 

Ohio Medical Marijuana Bill

Even though medical marijuana is legal for sale in Ohio, it comes with  many regulations to keep it safe for growers, dispensaries, and ultimately consumers to navigate the system. Even without as much stigma as existed in the past, there are still misconceptions about what medical marijuana is, why it is legal, and who consumes it. Only certain conditions for use are permitted on a shortlist for consumers. 

These conditions include:
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
  • Epilepsy (seizures)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Prescriptions are available by approved doctors who are allowed to recommend medical marijuana products by the State Board of Ohio. A patient-doctor relationship must be established and a risk/benefit analysis completed with their patient. Nearly 450 physicians in early 2019 were allowed to make these recommendations. 

Licensing

The Ohio program for medical marijuana has only been rolling a short time. Only a handful of growers (including Wellspring Fields), dispensaries, and stores were allowed to operate in Ohio at this time. Although it is seen as a progressive program as it rolls out, there are still strict regulations on licensing the sale of medical marijuana. Many consumers include veterans, people in recovery from opioid use, and those seeking pain relief from various conditions. Growth and cultivation at home are not permitted. The Ohio Control Program oversees the registration, reporting, and inspections of the process with the aim of keeping quality high to minimize consumer risk. 

Getting Started

For consumers to get started, they must register with the State Board of Pharmacy. There is an online registry people can use to receive a card with photo ID, which must be used to purchase cannabis at a licensed Ohio dispensary. Consumers must renew their licenses to purchase every year from the state. No more than a 90-day supply of medical marijuana may be purchased for consumption at one time to regulate the amount people use. 

Finding Products

State law regulates what kind of cannabis can be purchased for legal consumption. Although smoking is not allowed, people can vaporize it and consume cannabis through edibles, tinctures, and other products available. To locate the best products, consumers can look up licensed dispensaries in Ohio from which to set up an appointment, go over their needs, and discuss appropriate products and mode of delivery (vape, edible, etc) with licensed professionals. 

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