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Ohio Medical Marijuana Law Blog

What is a medical marijuana card?

As discussed previously on this blog, the use of marijuana for medical purposes has been legalized in Ohio to help treat and ease the symptoms associated with a number of qualifying conditions. As of now, there are 21 conditions that qualify for treatment. However, someone who has a qualifying condition cannot just walk into a dispensary and ask for medical marijuana-an Ohio medical marijuana card is needed to do so.

If someone has one of the qualifying conditions, they can schedule an appointment with a certified medical marijuana doctor to discuss one's medical issues and treatment history. If the condition is approved, the doctor will likely provide a signed recommendation after the appointment that can be submitted to the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, along with the registration fee. Once the person is entered into the registry, an Ohio medical marijuana card will be emailed to the qualifying patient.

We help overcome hurdles to get a medical marijuana license

Entering any new business venture is intimidating enough, as entrepreneurs try to learn the laws surrounding the field they are entering to ensure they obey it. This becomes difficult when the law surrounding the industry is fluid yet tightly regulated at the same time, as the cannabis industry in Ohio is. The laws in the relatively new legalized marijuana industry can change at any time, yet adhering to them is key to ensure one does not have their business shut down.

It's not just the laws surrounding the dispensation of medical marijuana that are complicated, it is also the hiring of new staff, testing and growing of cannabis, which is regulated and complex. With every step the business takes, it needs to ensure it is complying with all relevant and updated laws.

Medical marijuana business strong, despite roadblocks

Even when businesses deal with obstacles, the numbers can still be promising. Despite the sale of medical marijuana beginning in Ohio in mid January of this year, the industry has garnered around $1.85 million in two months. This is despite the limitations discussed in a recent post with regards to high prices.

As mentioned previously, prices are more than $450 on average in the state, whereas neighboring Michigan prices their medical marijuana flower at $320 near the border. The state's reciprocity program has driven the trend of Ohio patients traveling across the border to purchase cheaper medical marijuana, despite the legal risks involved.

The future for jobs in medical marijuana businesses

While Ohio's medical marijuana industry got off to a slow start, you may be seeing your dispensary growing as more certified physicians recommend cannabis for their patients with qualifying conditions. As your production and trade increases, you are likely considering hiring new employees to your staff.

There is plenty of interest in the medical marijuana industry, and some may think it would be fun to work in any aspect of the business. However, you may be like many in Ohio and across the country who are finding it difficult to attract skilled workers to your company.

High price of medical marijuana discourage buyers

There are positives and negatives surrounding marijuana. The legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio was hailed as a great step, potentially providing much needed relief to people suffering from debilitating pain from a number of medical conditions, as discussed in last week's post. Unfortunately, few people associate cannabis products with pain relief, which is why it might come as a surprise to many that most patients who are purchasing the product are disabled.

Unable to work, they are living on a fixed and limited income and are unable to work to earn more. The cost of their medication-medical marijuana-- is rarely covered by medical insurance, and if the cost is too high, patients will be unable to afford it. Unfortunately, this is the situation that has arisen in Ohio.

Conditions qualifying for medical marijuana

There are many hot topics being discussed these days. Much has been said about the availability of medical marijuana in Ohio and the 21 medical conditions that can be treated with the substance. However, many people suffering from debilitating pain or nausea due to an ailment may not be aware whether their condition qualifies for marijuana in the state. This is why it is important to know what the qualifying conditions are, both for patients looking for the substance and business operators looking to sell it.

AIDS, Alzheimer's, cancer, Crohn's Disease, fibromyalgia, epilepsy or other seizure disorders, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury and traumatic brain injuries are just some of the conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, Tourette's syndrome and glaucoma are some more.

Medical marijuana on public universities may violate federal law

The legality of certain substances change throughout time. Although medical marijuana became legal in Ohio back in 2016, the first time patients were able to get their medical prescriptions filled was early this year. Experts believe that one of the reasons a medical marijuana program has not gathered impetus in the state is because federal law still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug, which puts it in the same list as LSD and heroin. A schedule I drug is not considered for medical treatment in the country and has a high potential for abuse. Those who are interested in exploring the medical marijuana program are confused by this, as they are unclear if they would end up being prosecuted federally instead of locally.

Another issue that has arisen is the use of medical marijuana on university campuses. As per the law, anyone who is over the age of 21 can have access to medical marijuana if their medical condition falls under the 21 conditions that have been approved by the State Medical Board of Ohio. However, qualified patients who are also students cannot bring any of the substance onto Kent State's campus, due to the restrictions in the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, a law public universities must comply with.

What type of lawyer do I need for cannabis business licenses?

The path to opening a business in the cannabis industry is mired with roadblocks, even though it is now legally possible in Ohio. Not only is there a social stigma associated with anything that has to do with cannabis, there are a number of complicated regulations that businesses must adhere to in order to operate. Even then, medical marijuana dispensaries are not opening up with the speed that they should be.

The laws surrounding the cannabis industry are complex, vary from state to state and are evolving within individual states as well. In order to operate a successful and legal business, Ohio residents must navigate this maze effectively and ensure they are complying with all relevant laws, most importantly, those relating to the licensing of their business. A single mistake could mean a business is floored even before if gets off the ground.

Petitions submitted to include illnesses for medical marijuana

With recreational use of marijuana becoming legal in more and more states across the country as well as medical marijuana, one would think that its usage would become more acceptable in society, but this is not the case. Though medical usages of the substance are known to treat a number of medical conditions, people still hesitate to use or disclose their usage of it, for fear of being labeled 'potheads'. What many don't understand is that medical usage of the substance offers much needed relief to those who have exhausted all of their options for respite from pain.

With cannabis products set to become available in Ohio over the next couple of months through certain dispensaries, it is hoped that this perception changes and people become more accepting of using it. it doesn't help that for now, marijuana can only be used to treat allowable conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases, AIDS, epilepsy, cancer and a handful of other maladies. Additionally, in order to get it from the pharmacy, one must a physician's recommendation.

Is your dispensary compliant with security regulations?

As many Ohio residents anxiously await the availability of medical marijuana, others, including law enforcement, have concerns about how the legal trade of marijuana will affect the rate of crime in the state. As a holder of a dispensary license, you already know the mountain of regulations you must follow, including those related to keeping your product and customers safe.

Recreational marijuana is not yet legal in Ohio, so the careful and meticulous oversight of the infant medical marijuana industry is to keep the product from falling into the hands of those in the illegal drug trade, which may place the citizens of the state in peril. Undoubtedly, as you prepared to launch your business, much of your capital went to funding security measures required by law.

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The Patton Law Firm, LLC
33595 Bainbridge Road Suite 200A
Solon, OH 44139-2981

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