Today, there’s a growing body of evidence supporting medical marijuana’s (MM) potential to improve patients’ quality of life. For those suffering from serious conditions – Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, Parkinson’s, MS, and more – medical marijuana may be a natural therapy that works in tandem with standardized medicines. Many find that combining certified cannabis with standardized treatment is one of the best ways to treat some of the most difficult pain and discomfort caused by severe ailments.
Legal in Ohio for eligible conditions
Fortunately for Ohio residents, state lawmakers passed House Bill 523 in 2016, making medical marijuana legal for several approved conditions. Only certified physicians may recommend medical cannabis for qualifying conditions outlined by the Ohio Medical Board and Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP).
So, is that all there is to know? Are there other rules associated with our state’s medical marijuana program? What steps do I need to take to obtain a card? How often do I have to renew the license? And where can I purchase certified cannabis? Let’s dive into the how-to’s for obtaining a MM card in Ohio, so you’ll be prepared and confident moving forward.
- How do I qualify to obtain a medical marijuana card in Ohio? The first step is to register as a patient with the OMMCP. Start by visiting a certified physician who can confirm that you have a qualifying condition for receiving a medical marijuana card. Need to find a certified physician? Here’s a comprehensive list.
- What happens during the appointment? The doctor discusses your medical history and current conditions to determine if you’re eligible, according to the OMMCP. Some certified physicians also require past medical records. Your physician’s office will outline what users should bring to the appointment. All patients must have a valid Ohio driver’s license, a valid Ohio identification card issued by the Ohio BMV, or a valid United States passport before the appointment.
- What are my options for an appointment? Individuals can opt for an in-person medical consultation or for a virtual appointment with a certified MM physician. Many offices, including Releaf Health, offer virtual or telemedicine appointments. Our leading-edge telemedicine program allows patients to be seen by an accredited doctor via videoconference, using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop/computer. Our telemedicine program is super convenient and allows patients to consult with a physician and receive their recommendation from the safety and comfort of their home. Releaf Health offers these virtual appointments six days a week! Starting October 1, we’ll also start seeing patients at our Columbus office one-day a week.
- What happens after the consultation? After a patient completes their medical marijuana consultation and pays any related invoice, the physician creates a patient profile in Ohio’s Patient & Caregiver Registry. Once entered into the registry, the patient receives an email prompting them to log in to their profile to set up a secure password, complete the application and pay the $50 yearly registration fee.
- How do I obtain the actual MM card? Once registered in the OMMCP, patients have several options for getting their cards. It can be mailed to a home address, or users can print the card themselves at home. They can also bring their registration to a dispensary to have it printed and laminated. Patients can also create a digital copy of their MM card by downloading it and saving it as a photo, or taking a screenshot.
- How do I use it? Active MM card owners can purchase medical marijuana from retail dispensaries throughout Ohio as long as they have an associated government-issued ID and active MM card. The state’s Board of Pharmacy must license these dispensaries. Here you can find a comprehensive list of dispensaries. Most forms of marijuana are approved and available. Patients are limited to a 90-day supply with three refills (totaling up to 360-day supply, if appropriate for the patient. Here the OMMCP talks about how dispensaries and patients can calculate a patients’ 90-day supply.
- How often do I have to renew the card? Patients in the program need to renew MM cards once a year! A user’s membership is valid from the date it’s issued, and it expires one year later, on the last day of the month.
- What’s the process for getting additional conditions approved? The State Medical Board of Ohio has set up an annual petition process where community members can ask the Board to add new qualifying medical conditions. Stay tuned to our next blog where we dive into the process of getting medical conditions added to the program, current happenings, and what concerned citizens can do to learn more and get involved.
Take your first steps – we are here to help
Do you have more questions about Ohio’s medical marijuana program? Or do you want more information about what it takes to get a MM card? Call (614-437-8382) or schedule a telemedicine appointment online now! At Releaf Health Clinic, we are your medical marijuana experts. We pride ourselves in patiently and skillfully helping patients walk through obtaining a medical marijuana card in Ohio. Our certified physicians provide expert medical consultation services, and our trained staff will make sure you know what to expect before your appointment, during, and after.