How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio
In the US, there are currently 35 states with legal medical marijuana laws. This equates to approximately 3.6 million state-legal medical cannabis patients seeking and using medical marijuana for various chronic medical conditions.
Ohio is one of the states that allows those in need to seek a medical marijuana card. In Ohio, some 186,590 patients took advantage of medical marijuana.
While that equates to only about 2% of the Ohio population, that number is growing consistently as more dispensaries are opening, making it easier for patients to get the marijuana they need.
Are you wondering how to get a medical marijuana card in Ohio? What steps are required to get a marijuana card?
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about getting a medical marijuana card in Ohio.
Ohio Marijuana Laws
In 2016, the Ohio legislature passed House Bill 523, legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.
While many states have since legalized marijuana use in general, in Ohio, it’s only legal for medical purposes.
The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy oversees and regulates the state’s licenses and dispensaries that sell marijuana.
Those who want to use Ohio medical marijuana must seek a special card that allows them to get the marijuana legally for medical use.
Currently, marijuana can be used medically in the following forms:
- Plant material
It is not legal to smoke marijuana in Ohio, even if you hold a medical marijuana card.
As you work through the process of getting a medical marijuana card, the Ohio medical marijuana doctor can help patients decide which version will be best suited for their needs.
What Is an Ohio Marijuana Card?
In Ohio, the State Board of Pharmacy regulates marijuana for medical purposes. The Ohio marijuana card is simply the card issued by the State Board of Pharmacy that acts as identification.
It lets both legal authorities and the dispensaries know that the patient has been approved for medical marijuana use. You are considered registered for legal use in Ohio.
Once you have a medical marijuana card as a patient, you have the legal right to seek out the marijuana product from any state dispensary and use it legally.
Eligibility for a Marijuana Card
When the state passed House Bill 523, making medical marijuana legal, they put some basic eligibility requirements in place. Any person can’t walk into a dispensary and claim a medical condition to purchase marijuana products.
You must first meet the basic eligibility requirements, then go through the application process through the State Board of Pharmacy. The basic eligibility requirements include the following:
- 18 years of age or older
- Patients under 18 must have an assigned caregiver who is at least 21 years of age.
- Suffer from one of the qualifying conditions listed by the state
- Ohio resident with proof of residency
Finally, as part of the application process, you must meet with an Ohio medical marijuana doctor. More on this shortly.
What Conditions Qualify for a Marijuana Card in Ohio
Remember, one of the basic eligibility requirements is to have a qualifying condition listed by the State Board of Pharmacy. Currently, the state has listed 25 qualifying conditions.
These qualifying conditions include:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
- Hepatitis C
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable
- Parkinson’s disease
- Positive status for HIV
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sickle cell anemia
- Spinal cord disease or injury
- Terminal illness
- Tourette syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ulcerative colitis
Each year the board meets to evaluate its list of qualifying conditions and will accept new petitions for needs that should be added to the qualifying list.
At the end of 2021, the board received nine new petitions that, if approved, would qualify ten new conditions. Some of the conditions that will be considered include:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Bipolar disorder
- Gilbert’s syndrome
The board had previously rejected adding autism spectrum disorder to the list but will consider it again this year.
Process for Approval for an Ohio Marijuana Card
If you meet the basic eligibility requirements, the State Board of Pharmacy has a basic three-step process you must follow to seek the Ohio medical marijuana card.
Remember, one of the basic eligibility requirements you must meet is to have an appointment with an Ohio medical marijuana doctor.
So, the first step is to set up an appointment with an approved doctor. In Ohio, a doctor must have a Certificate to Recommend (CTR) from the State Medical Board of Ohio.
You might start by asking your regular physician if they carry the Certificate to Recommend. If they don’t have it, then you can visit the State Board of Ohio and search for doctors who do have the CTR.
Then you need to get an appointment.
The next step is to meet with the doctor holding the CTR. They will want to see that you meet the basic eligibility requirements. Be prepared to show proof of residency. They are required to check.
The doctor will discuss your medical condition to see if you meet one of the 25 approved conditions.
If the CTR doctor feels you meet the requirements to get a medical marijuana card, the doctor will set up a profile in the program’s Patient & Caregiver Registry. They must also submit a copy of your proof of residency.
Once you are approved, you will receive an email from the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program website. This email will include a link to set up a profile.
It’s important to know that you can only click on the link once for security purposes, so you should be prepared to create your profile when you click on it.
You will be prompted to create a password and provide the following information:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Residential address
- Valid and correct phone number
You must enter your information carefully and accurately. Each time you visit a dispensary, this will be checked.
While on the patient portal, you’ll also be required to pay a $50 registration fee. The State Board of Pharmacy doesn’t send you a physical card. They will send you a card you’ll need to print before you can begin visiting dispensaries in the state.
Creating a Medical Marijuana Treatment Protocol
Most patients seeking medical marijuana treatment have no experience with marijuana or the many products created from it. They will have no idea how to use the products to help themselves and their condition.
One of the benefits of meeting with a medical marijuana doctor who has the Certificate to Recommend is that they have a working knowledge of how to use medical marijuana.
You should ask the doctor to help you develop a medical marijuana regimen for you. The doctor can help you to understand:
- Benefits of cannabis
- Side effects
- How to use it to treat your symptoms
You want to ask for a treatment protocol when you see the doctor so you have a plan for when you can visit the dispensary.
Where to Get Medical Marijuana in Ohio
In 2018, Ohio approved the opening of 57 dispensaries spread in different locations throughout the state. Since then, the state has recognized the intense demand for more options and locations.
The state is currently in the process of considering applications for an additional 74 locations around the state.
When you visit a dispensary, you’ll have a variety of product options, including:
- Botanical marijuana flower for vaping
- Oral sprays
- THC-infused edibles
- Lotions and other topicals
- CBD products
In addition to the recommendations from the medical marijuana doctor, talk to the dispensary about your options. They are experts in their products which must get tested and verified for potency and purity.
All approved dispensaries can be found by visiting the State Board of Pharmacy website.
Legal Protection for the Use of Medical Marijuana
Getting a medical marijuana card in Ohio provides the patient with important legal protection. It tells the authorities that you have the right to:
- Consume medical cannabis products
The card helps you to demonstrate to the police that you have the marijuana products legally.
It is important to keep your medical marijuana card up to date; more on this shortly.
Ohio Medical Marijuana Privileges
When you’re approved for a medical marijuana card in Ohio, you automatically get access to any dispensary in the state. If you travel in the state, you can visit dispensaries in different locations to get what you need.
The good news is that many other states extend reciprocity with their programs in addition to that option.
This means that when you visit other states, you can use your medical marijuana card to make legal purchases of cannabis products.
Medical Marijuana in Ohio, Frequently Asked Questions
You may still have questions about seeking a medical marijuana card in Ohio. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and the necessary answers.
How Do I Find a Medical Marijuana Doctor?
Remember, when you see a medical marijuana doctor, they must have the Certificate To Recommend.
Not only does this mean they have special training in the cannabis arena, but they also have access to enter your information for approval in the State Board of Pharmacy database.
You can find a list of these doctors on the State Board of Pharmacy website.
How Long Does the Approval Process Take?
Much of this answer will depend on how long it takes to secure an appointment with a doctor.
Once you see a doctor, the process should only take a few weeks to get a link to set up your account on the state website.
Once your registration fee is paid, you can print your card and start using it immediately.
How Does a Caregiver Register in Ohio?
Ohio allows each patient to have up to two registered caregivers. Remember, if you’re a minor seeking a medical marijuana license, you must have an adult caregiver.
The patient’s certifying physician must register as a caregiver in the State Board of Pharmacy.
It might make sense to have your caregiver with you when you see the medical marijuana doctor so they can get registered simultaneously.
How Much Medical Cannabis Can Be Purchased at One Time?
A patient can get up to 90 days worth of supplies at a time.
You’re not restricted by how many dispensaries you visit in a day or over a period of time.
You should know that a dispensary must enter the amount of medical cannabis you purchase. You can purchase up to a 90-day supply at one time or smaller amounts that get you to that amount from multiple dispensaries.
How Often Is a Renewal Needed?
A patient must get a renewal of their medical marijuana card every year. A dispensary is not allowed to sell to a patient with an expired card, which is closely regulated.
Any caregivers are also required to get yearly renewals.
How Much Does the Medical Marijuana Card Cost?
The actual cost of the medical marijuana card is the $50 registration fee when you set up your account on the State Board of Pharmacy.
Before that, you’ll have the cost of the doctor’s visit.
The medical cannabis products will vary in price once you have the medical marijuana card.
Know How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio
Now you know how to get a medical marijuana card in Ohio. If you’re a patient suffering from one of the listed medical conditions, you can get help with the use of medical marijuana.
To learn more about a visit with a medical marijuana doctor and the products you could use for relief, contact us today.