Patients suffering from chronic conditions with no respite from pain likely rejoiced the day that medical marijuana was approved in Ohio. Twenty-one conditions were approved initially in Ohio, ranging from cancer, glaucoma, seizures and AIDS to Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s Disease and Parkinson’s disease. New conditions have to be approved by the State Medical Board of Ohio and many readers of this blog may remember the process that was underway during the summer to add to the list.

Though it is possible to add new qualifying conditions to the list, the process is complicated by the fact that there is dispute about whether a condition can be removed once added to the list. Petitions should include relevant medical or scientific evidence, letters of support provided by physicians, information from experts who study the disease and considerations as to whether traditional medical therapies are incapable of alleviating the condition. Once a petition has been rejected, it cannot be reviewed until new scientific evidence backs the request.

Those who want to register as a medical marijuana patient for qualifying conditions must go through physicians who are certified to recommend the substance. The patient must either be diagnosed or have a diagnosis affirmed of the qualifying condition. After the patient is registered, he or she will receive an electronic ID card. This card can be used to purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary licensed by the state.

It is important for medical marijuana cardholders to go to state-licensed dispensaries, as their quality is ensured. This means dispensaries must adhere to legal requirements, especially since the state’s eyes are on them in the infancy of the program. Those who are trying to gain a foothold into the state’s medical marijuana program might want to consider consulting an experienced professional for guidance on how to ensure compliance with state laws.