Current Medical Marijuana Legislation in Ohio
In 2016, Ohio implemented statute HB523, legalizing medical marijuana for approved patients. This legislation allows anyone over the age of 18 with qualifying health conditions to apply for a medical marijuana card through the state. Though Ohio is currently debating potential new legislation for marijuana use in the state, the laws that were put in place back in 2016 have persisted without much change.
Many of the regulations currently in place are unique to Ohio’s medical marijuana program. For example, medical marijuana laws in Ohio prohibit the combustion of the marijuana flower itself and allow only a certain volume of marijuana products to be purchased over a specified timeframe. That’s why it is important to know the rules regarding medical marijuana use, especially if you are new to medical marijuana or are a patient who recently moved to the state.
How Do You Get a Medical Card in Ohio?
In order to get a medical marijuana card in Ohio, you must ensure you meet certain requirements before applying.
When applying for a medical marijuana card as a patient, you must be at least 18 years or older. If you are under the age requirement, you are legally not allowed to apply. If you are applying for a medical marijuana card as a caregiver, then you must be at least 21.
If you are of approved age, your first step will be to find an approved physician that can validate your health conditions or issues. Once you find a doctor that is certified by Ohio’s medical marijuana program and have your health conditions verified, they will create a profile for you within the state’s patient registry.
Next, you will receive your account information, enabling you to complete your registration. After logging onto your account, you will have to pay a fee of $50 to finalize your registration and activate your medical marijuana card. (Note: some patients, including veterans, may qualify for a reduced registration fee.) After you are finished registering, you will receive a physical copy of your medical marijuana card in the mail.
What Are the Qualifying Conditions for the Medical Marijuana Program in Ohio?
The state of Ohio currently recognizes over 20 different conditions that qualify for the medical marijuana program:
- Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
- Chronic pain (now including migraines)
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy and other seizure-related health conditions
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Sickle-cell anemia
- Spinal cord disease or spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Terminal illness
- Tourette syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
Can I Apply for a Caregiver Medical Marijuana Card?
Yes—In Ohio, you can apply to be a caregiver via the same registration process that is used for patients.
First, the patient in question must visit a certified physician that approves them for medical marijuana program qualification due to certain health conditions. From there, the patient can elect up to two caregivers to assist them with tasks including purchasing the medical marijuana from dispensaries and helping to transport it.
What Are Medical Marijuana Caregiver Eligibility Requirements?
In order to qualify to be a caregiver for a patient approved for the medical marijuana program in Ohio, you must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Be chosen by the patient in question or recommended by a physician
- Be a caregiver to no more than three patients at the same time
- Submit to a background check
Are There Fill Laws for Medical Marijuana in Ohio?
Every medical marijuana state has different restrictions regarding how much marijuana you can purchase or keep on your person. In Ohio, legislators have set allotment laws that impose supply limits for medical marijuana patients. The legislation regarding Ohio’s supply limits was updated in April of 2020, splitting the initial 90-day supply recommendation into two 45-day fill periods.
Now, according to Ohio law, patients are allowed to make as many purchases as they want within a 45-day period until they have reached the volume limit for that period. Once they have purchased their limit, the patient must wait until the 45-day-period is over and the next one begins before they can purchase marijuana again. If the patient does not purchase their 45-day fill allotment before the end of the period, it will not roll over into the next period. The legal limit for the full 90-day supply period has not changed and depends on your diagnosis, your doctor’s recommendation, and the type of product you purchase (flower, tinctures, topicals, oils, etc.).
If you are ever confused regarding your personal supply limits, you can always ask your certified practitioner or Medical Marijuana Advisor at your local dispensary for help.