This past June, Ohio announced the addition of 3 new conditions to its list of approved conditions for medical marijuana use. Huntington’s disease, terminal illness, and spasticity were approved by the state for medical marijuana use. This brings Ohio’s list of qualifying conditions to 25 in total.
About Ohio’s Approved Conditions Update
The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP) board reviews public petitions for new conditions to be approved every year.
Let’s look at the ones that made the cut:
Huntington’s is an inherited rare brain disease that causes a breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. As a result, someone with this disease will experience movement, thinking, and psychiatric function complications.
Medical marijuana can help with the physical pain associated with this disease and ease mental anguish.
This could be any number of diseases or situations, but in short, terminal illnesses are ones that cannot be cured and will likely result in a shortened lifespan.
In these cases, the primary focus for the patient becomes a comfort for the remaining lifespan. Depending on what’s causing the illness, medical marijuana can help ease any discomfort and help them live their remaining days more freely.
This refers to severe muscle spasms where a person’s muscles tighten up and cannot be released. Depending on the muscles affected, this can create issues with movement and speech. Not to mention, it can often be very uncomfortable.
Fortunately, medical marijuana can help these individuals gain more control over their flare-ups and achieve more comfort.
Below is the new list of Ohio’s updated approved conditions for medical marijuana use:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
- Hepatitis C
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable.
- Parkinson’s disease
- Positive status for HIV
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Sickle cell anemia
- Spinal cord disease or injury
- Terminal illness
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Ulcerative colitis
Which Conditions Were Not Approved for Medical Marijuana Use in Ohio?
Each year there are, unfortunately, conditions that don’t make it through the approval process. This time around, those included:
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
- Panic disorder with agoraphobia
The MMCP board concluded that three of the proposed conditions already fell under the umbrella of other approved conditions, including arthritis, chronic migraines, and complex regional pain syndrome.
Let’s note that the term spasms are different from spasticity. The term spasticity refers to severe, debilitating spasms.
Autism is a petitioned condition in Ohio, especially with more studies that suggest those with ASD can benefit from cannabis. Another commonly petitioned condition that has historically not been accepted is anxiety.
This doesn’t mean that Ohioans can’t continue to petition for these conditions, though. The public may continue to push for these conditions so long as they meet petition criteria, including evidence that cannabis can be used to treat or ease symptoms of the condition and letters of recommendation from certified physicians.
For more information on petitioning new conditions, click here.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio If You Have an Approved Condition
The first step in getting an Ohio medical marijuana card is to have one of the state’s 25 approved conditions. From there, the process looks like this:
- Register with Ohio’s MMCP. To do this, you’ll need to visit a physician that can confirm you have an approved condition. Be sure to have a valid Ohio driver’s license, a valid Ohio identification card issued by the Ohio BMV, or a valid United States passport ready before the appointment.
Once confirmed by a physician, the doctor will create your profile in Ohio’s Patient & Caregiver Registry. Then you’ll receive an email with login information to complete your profile and pay the $50 annual registration fee.
- Obtain your medical marijuana card. You can either request the card to be sent to you in the mail or print it yourself at home. You may also visit a dispensary with your registration, and they can print and laminate it for you there as well. You can also keep a digital copy by downloading it to your phone or taking a screenshot.
- Renew your card as needed. You’ll need to renew your card each year from the date you were approved. This means revisiting your physician for a renewed recommendation and completing the renewal process through your online profile.
Click here for a more detailed look at renewing your Ohio medical marijuana card.
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