Ohio Medical Marijuana Update

Medicinal cannabis - Ohio
Image: Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program

The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has published its last weekly update on statistics for the state’s patient register. From the beginning of 2019, it will only publish statistics monthly.

The Board reports the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program has 4,964 recommendations in the Patient and Caregiver Registry, and of those 3,575 have activated their Registry Card.

While thousands may now have a valid card, many may be hard pressed to find medicines locally. As well as dispensaries being thin on the ground during the initial phase of the state’s program, a full supply of products at all licensed locations may not be available until later this year.

The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy received 370 dispensary applications up until the end of the application period in November 2018 and from these, up to 60 provisional licenses will be awarded. It was only on the 12th of December the first Dispensary Certificate of Operation was awarded to CY+. The CY+ dispensary in Wintersville is operated by Cresco Labs. Wintersville is a 2 hour+ drive from the state’s capital, Columbus.

Cresco Labs has built a 50,000 square foot growing and cultivation facility in Yellow Springs, Ohio that will supply dispensaries across the state.

There are 21 medical conditions enabling medical marijuana card eligibility in Ohio including Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, and chronic and severe or intractable pain. The first submission period for petitions to add a qualifying medical condition to the state’s program ended on December 31.

In order to access medicinal cannabis, patients must first see a doctor who is licensed to submit a medical marijuana recommendation to the State Pharmacy Board. Physicians will need to see their patients in-person at least once annually. According to the Board, there are currently more than 350 physicians across the state with an active certificate to recommend medical marijuana. 

While smoking medical cannabis is not permitted under Ohio’s program, vaping is; as are oils, tinctures, edibles and patches. Home-growing is prohibited. The amount of medical marijuana possessed by a registered patient or caregiver must not be more than a 90-day supply, which is defined here.

Further information on Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program can be found here.