Welcome to Ohio! In January 2019, the Ohio medical marijuana program launched with three dispensaries. The dispensaries were opened in Wintersville, Canton, and Sandusky. As of May 2019, there are 15 dispensaries across the state with more on the horizon. The Ohio program provides an alternative medical treatment to qualifying patients.
Along with providing alternative medical treatment, this program has brought big business and an influx of new revenue to Ohio. Due to the growing opportunities and legal needs presented by the expansion of marijuana legality in Ohio and across the nation, the local firm of MacMurray & Shuster LLP launched a medical marijuana law and policy group.
“The marijuana law and policy group will guide clients safely through this complex and politically-sensitive landscape, providing comprehensive legal counsel on federal and state regulations and other aspects of the industry arising at its intersection with consumer protection law,” says Helen MacMurray, a partner with MacMurray & Shuster LLP.
Prior to the launch of the program in Ohio, many physicians, growers, and potential dispensary owners were doing their homework and planning to hit the ground running to bring this alternative medical program to patients. “Since its launch in January, Ohio’s medical marijuana program is off to a strong start.
With more than $1.5 million in product sales as of early March, exponential growth is expected as more marijuana-based businesses open their doors in the coming months,” adds MacMurray. This program can be a little tricky to navigate for all parties involved.
Here is a breakdown of the three steps for obtaining medical marijuana through Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP – WWW.MEDICALMARIJUANA.OHIO.GOV)
Step 1: Physician Exam
Visit a certified physician who can confirm one of the medical conditions that quality for medical marijuana. This visit will cost $200 or more (WITH A DISCOUNT FOR VETERANS). Following the determination of a recommendation, the physician will create a profile in the patient and caregiver registry.
As of May 2019, there is a list of about 20 conditions that qualify a patient for the medical marijuana program. Some of those conditions include HIV/AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), Alzheimer’s, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or other seizure disorders, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and sickle cell anemia.
Step 2: Get Registered
Once a physician has entered a patient or caregiver into the registry, the patient/caregiver will receive an email prompting him to complete a profile and registration and pay a small fee ($50 FOR PATIENTS/$25 FOR CAREGIVERS).
Step 3: Find a Dispensary
Upon receiving the patient/caregiver registry card, those qualified may purchase medical marijuana from an Ohio dispensary licensed by the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
As of May 2019, there are 15 medical marijuana dispensaries in operation in Ohio. Over 60 provisional licenses have been awarded in various counties across the state.
Obtaining Medical Marijuana
Once patients navigate through the three steps to obtain the medical marijuana card, the next steps can be a bit overwhelming. Patients do not receive a typical prescription from a medical doctor that would indicate what they are taking and what the dosage is. Patients must rely on the expertise of the dispensary employee.
Upon entering a dispensary patients must present a registry barcode (either printed or on a phone) along with a valid state issued driver’s license or photo ID. A dispensary employee will meet with patients to review their cases, determine their needs and walk them through a recommendation of products for their conditions. The amount purchased will be recorded in the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System which tracks all prescribed controlled substances. Patients can purchase a 90-day supply of a specified amount of medical marijuana and are allowed only three refills. Medical marijuana must be paid for in cash.
What The Ohio Medical Marijuana Law Prohibits:
- SMOKING MARIJUANA.
- GROWING MARIJUANA AT HOME.
- USING MARIJUANA FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES.
- VIOLATING AN EMPLOYER’S DRUG POLICY.
- VIOLATING AN EMPLOYER’S DRUG POLICY.
What’s to come in the industry?
A diagnosis of anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, opioid use disorder, depression or insomnia may soon qualify Ohioans for the state’s medical marijuana program. On June 12, 2019, the State Medical Board of Ohio will hold a final vote on adding the five conditions to the list that qualify a patient/caregiver for a registry card.
Green Growth Brands (GGB), a cannabis lifestyle company that is already operational in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada, is rooted deeply in Columbus. Led by former Victoria’s Secret COO Peter Horvath and backed by the Schottenstein family, GGB has been rolling out its Seventh Sense CBD products in malls across the country as well as at DSW. “An exciting new opportunity has just developed with Abercrombie & Fitch,” says Horvath, now CEO of Green Growth Brands.
“The company is on a mission to buy, create, and distribute top cannabis brands throughout the United States and Canada in the recreational and medical sectors of the marketplace,” adds Horvath. Two new brands have been announced by the company— Seventh Sense Botanicals and CAMP™—both offering premium products that support and enhance an active lifestyle.