What Is Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana, also known as medical cannabis, is a plant-derived medicinal option that has shown to provide relief in symptoms and conditions ranging from chronic pain and nausea to epilepsy, Tourette's syndrome, and more. Dr. Cory Gaiser is a physician of internal medicine certified by the Medical Marijuana Control Program, which enables him to recommend the use of medical cannabis for qualifying health conditions. He has completed training and education in treating specific health issues with medical cannabis and is knowledgeable in the registration and regulation processes governed by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. To learn if this treatment can benefit your health and well-being, please contact New Body Aesthetics in Cincinnati, OH for a medical marijuana assessment.
Who Qualifies for Medical Marijuana?
In order to receive a prescription for medical cannabis, patients must meet certain requirements and have a qualifying condition, as designated by the state of Ohio. Individuals must undergo an assessment with a certified medical marijuana doctor and be approved by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy to use or administer (in a caregiver capacity) medical marijuana. First, you will need to determine if you suffer from one or more of the qualifying conditions approved by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. If you do, then next, you will need to make an appointment with one of our state-approved physicians certified for medical marijuana recommendations. Be sure to bring a copy of your official medical records documenting your condition, as the physician will need to review your medical history. They will complete an initial patient examination and send an approved recommendation to the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy for a final review. A certified physician may only recommend medical marijuana treatment for a minor after obtaining the consent of a parent or guardian responsible for providing consent to treatment. Minors are also required to have a registered caregiver.
State law prohibits the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, as well as licensed dispensaries, from making personal identifying information public, ensuring your privacy. Additionally, law enforcement cannot confirm an active medical marijuana patient unless the patient discloses this information directly. In short, your privacy regarding this matter is taken very seriously. Your friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc., will only know of your registration for medical marijuana if you choose to tell them about it. However, Ohio's medical marijuana laws do not currently provide protection to registered patients from employee drug testing. It will be up to the employer to determine how they choose to handle the relationship between drug testing and medical marijuana.
In the state of Ohio, medical cannabis has been approved to treat a wide range of conditions, including:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson's disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Ulcerative colitis
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
It is important to note that, as with all controlled substances, marijuana can be abused even when it is being used medically. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call 877-275-6364 for information or visit https://findtreatment.gov.
How Does Medical Marijuana Work?
As a medicinal alternative, medical cannabis may help minimize pain, anxiety, depression, and nausea, among offering other therapeutic physical, psychological, and behavioral effects. In Ohio, it can be consumed in various forms, including patches, lotions, creams, tinctures, oils, vaporization, edibles, and as a plant (flower) material. Medical marijuana patients and caregivers must be registered and approved online with the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy to purchase, possess, and use medical marijuana. Registered patients and caregivers are provided identification cards, which they must have to purchase marijuana products at a licensed Ohio dispensary. These cards are typically valid for one year.
Anyone who wants to treat or be a caregiver to someone who treats any of the currently approved conditions with medical marijuana will need to possess an Ohio medical marijuana identification card. These cards will allow you access to state-approved marijuana dispensaries to purchase medical marijuana products and easily demonstrate to law enforcement that you are approved to possess, transport, and consume these products in Ohio.
Registering for medical marijuana allows patients to possess up to a 90-day supply for self-medication. However, there are minimums and maximums when it comes to how much patients can legally buy at once. Additionally, all medical marijuana must be purchased from a state-approved dispensary or other vendors. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program does not permit growing or extracting your own medical marijuana. Related Ohio state laws actually prohibit the cultivation of medical marijuana for personal, family, or household use. Currently, the state of Ohio does not allow or recognize medical marijuana programs or registry cards issued in other states. If you want to use medical marijuana in Ohio, the only current opportunity is to register with and be approved by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. The annual cost of a medical marijuana registration is $50 for patients and $25 for caregivers. Patients who qualify for indigent or veteran status may be eligible for fee reductions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is marijuana legal in Ohio?
All aspects of marijuana, including possession, use, sale, and cultivation was illegal prior to September 2016. In 2016, Ohio legalized medical marijuana with House Bill 523. This bill would lay the foundation for its new complex Medical Marijuana Control Program. Medical marijuana is the only form of marijuana that is currently legal in Ohio. This new, in-depth program outlines the use of medical marijuana, as well as many new restrictions on the cultivation, testing, selling, prescribing, and ingesting of the drug. Medical marijuana use by registered patients is being overseen and regulated by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. They will determine which doctors can recommend patients for medical marijuana, which conditions can be treated with medical marijuana, and will determine if individuals are eligible to obtain a medical marijuana identification card.
Can I see any doctor to recommend me medical marijuana?
No, only physicians who have been certified for the Medical Marijuana Control Program can recommend medical marijuana. These physicians must hold an active, unrestricted MD or DO license from the State Medical Board of Ohio and complete an initial and ongoing medical education that will assist in diagnosing qualifying conditions, treating those conditions with medical marijuana, and possible drug interactions.
What is a medical marijuana caregiver?
A medical marijuana caregiver is a registered individual, aged 21 or older, who can buy, transport, possess, and administer medical marijuana to a registered medical marijuana patient with whom the caregiver's registration is associated. Each patient can have a maximum of two caregivers, and a caregiver can only claim caregiver status for two patients themselves. Medical marijuana patients under the age of 18 must have an assigned caregiver. This caregiver can be a parent or legal representative over the age of 21. If the patient is a minor or has a court-appointed legal guardian, they must have a caregiver.
In order to register as a caregiver, a patient must notify their certified physician that they would like you to serve as their caregiver. The physician will then start your account profile in the state's Patient & Caregiver Registry. Confirm and complete your account profile registration for the program on the Patient & Caregiver Registry. If the patient is a minor or has a court-appointed legal guardian, they must have a caregiver.
How do I apply for the Ohio medical marijuana program and get my ID card?
If you are suffering from one or more of the qualifying conditions approved by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, you will need to visit a state-approved physician certified for medical marijuana recommendations. Be sure to bring a copy of your official medical records documenting your condition, as the physician will need to review your medical history. The physician will also need your actual valid Ohio driver's license, a valid Ohio identification card issued by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), or a valid United States passport. The physician will then complete an initial patient examination, which includes continued future follow-up reviews. If they determine that you qualify for medical marijuana, they will provide a recommendation directly to the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and start your account profile in the Patient & Caregiver Registry. The Board will then contact you by email where you will submit the application fee and complete the account setup with the state's Registry. Upon completion, you should be able to download and print your Ohio medical marijuana ID card. Most dispensaries will accept an electronic version of your ID card on your cell phone.
Can I own a firearm or maintain a concealed carry permit if I'm a registered medical marijuana patient?
According to federal regulation, marijuana is still a schedule-1 controlled substance, making it illegal to use marijuana, even state-approved medical marijuana, and own a firearm or maintain a concealed carry permit in Ohio. This is primarily based on the ATF application to purchase a firearm, question 11 – E, which asks, "Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized from medical or recreational purposes in the state where you reside."