A fair word of warning: If you’re wondering how to get a medical marijuana card in Ohio, don’t get your hopes up too “high” (pun intended) just yet – it’s not a super-duper easy process, and the state’s MMJ program is not exactly the most accessible in the country.
Licensed Ohio marijuana dispensaries are at least up and running now, but as of the time of writing, only nine of the states 56 companies had opened their doors for business. Furthermore, the majority of these dispensaries are located in the northeast part of the state, making it ultra inconvenient for residents in other parts of OH to actually go and get their meds (the closest up and running dispensary for Cincinnatti residents, for example, is nearly a two-hour drive away).
Regardless, it is still entirely possible to get a medical marijuana card in Ohio as long as you suffer from a qualifying condition — and we’re here to tell you how to do it in just a few quick and easy steps.
Need a Medical Marijuana Card? Let us help by Starting Here
As a Resident of Ohio, What is the process to Get a Medical Marijuana Card?
As per the current program, all medical cannabis licenses and I.D. cards in Ohio are issued by the state’s Board of Pharmacy (OBP). The basic steps to applying for a medical marijuana card in Ohio are as follows:
Step 1 – Find a physician
The first step in getting a medical marijuana card in Ohio is to locate and contact a physician that will be willing to speak with you in regard to recommending medical marijuana. This is a big process in itself, as all doctors who will be recommending MMJ in Ohio need to have what’s called a “Certificate to Recommend” from the State Medical Board.
You will be on your own when it comes to finding a qualified physician, as the state currently does not provide a list (though you can access our easy online process and connect to local doctors here).
Moreover, all recommendations must come from (and be submitted by) an Ohio state-licensed and currently practicing physician (you cannot, for example, get a recommendation from a physician in California and submit it to the state of Ohio as registration).
Additionally, you must have a “bona fide physician-patient relationship” with the recommending physician, though the term “bona fide” is not exactly defined, and is apparently up to the discretion of the state of Ohio.
Once you do locate and contact a physician who is willing to diagnose you with a qualifying condition for marijuana (see below for the list of qualifying conditions), he or she will need to submit the complete patient registration submission on your behalf – you cannot receive a signed recommendation and submit it on your own. Also, submission to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy will need to be made within 90 days of the recommending physician’s diagnosis (stating you have a qualifying condition).
The complete physician recommendation for medical marijuana includes a BUNCH of different information (you can find it all listed on the state’s compliant form), but your physician’s office will be responsible for filling it all out. Once the completed registration form is finished in its entirety, the physician’s office will then submit the packet to the OBP for review.
Step 2 – Pay the application fee
In addition to the physician’s official recommendation form that diagnoses you with a qualifying condition, you will need to pay the Ohio medical marijuana application fee to the Board of Pharmacy. The recommending physician’s office will notify you of the cost of the fee, but currently it is set at $50.
*[Also, be aware that in addition to the application fee you will likely have separate consultation fees with the recommending physician’s office.]*
Step 3 – Provide supplemental documentation
In addition to the Ohio MMJ application fee, you will also need to submit Ohio proof of residency to the Board of Pharmacy. This can be done by providing:
- A valid Ohio driver’s license
- A valid Ohio identification card (issued through the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), or
- A valid U.S. passport or passport card.
*Both the application fee and the proof of residency will be submitted at the same time as the physician’s recommendation form.
Once the physician recommendation form, the application fee(s), and the proof of residency have been submitted to the Board of Pharmacy, the application will be reviewed. If approved, you will be added to the Ohio MMCP Registry, and should receive your MMJ card in as little as two weeks.
If you have any further questions, we recommend contacting the MMCP program directly at:
Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program
77 South High Street, 17th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 466-4143
Ohio MMJ Card: What are the Costs Involved?
In terms of actually submitting your application for medical marijuana in Ohio, the only state-associated fee is the $50 that you’ll have to pay to the Board of Pharmacy to accept your packet. Aside from that, however, you will likely have to pay up to $200 for your doctor consultation fees. Unfortunately, there’s really no way around these fees as every single Ohio MMJ application will need to be signed off by a licensed and practicing physician.
As of the time of writing, Ohio does not offer any fee waivers or reductions in cost based on income — one of the only medically-legal states that does NOT offer such a discount.
Related Article: 3 Ways to Get a Medical Marijuana Card Online (in Minutes)
Fortunately, you will be able to pay for the costs with a credit card, and in most instances, you will be paying a lump sum to the consulting physician’s office. This lump sum will cover the $50 Ohio Medical Marijuana application fee, as well as any fees and costs associated with the doctor’s visit.
FAQ | Medical Marijuana in Ohio
Patients in Ohio that are diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions will be afforded legal protection under the Ohio medical marijuana law, as per House Bill 523 — “The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program” [see below for a list of additional FAQ’s regarding the application and approval process]:
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Ohio
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also know as Lou Gehrig’s disease
- chronic traumatic encephalopathy
- Crohn’s disease
- hepatitis C
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Chronic pain, severe, or intractable pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sickle cell anemia
- Spinal cord disease, or injury
- Tourette Syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ulcerative colitis
Can New Qualifying Medical Conditions be Added?
To our knowledge, petitions to add new qualifying medical conditions were only available from November 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 (no petitions were accepted or reviewed prior to November 1). Also, all petitions had to be filed electronically through the state’s website (medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov). For a complete and updated list of qualifying medical conditions, check here.
My Card Expired. How Do I Get a Renewal?
When medical cannabis cards in Ohio started to be issued back in September 2018, they were valid for one year from the month of issuance (expiring on the last day of the month the card was issued). The Board of Pharmacy sends a notification to patients 45 calendar days before the expiration date on the ID card.
In order to renew a valid registration, a patient must submit a new application before the expiration date stated on the patient’s registry identification card. Renewal submissions, fees, and required documentation may be submitted up to thirty calendar days before the registration will expire. Failure to renew a patient registration will result in an automatic suspension.
I’m From Out of State, can I still Buy Medical Marijuana in ohio?
Sort of. It’s a little hazy, but the law requires that the Board of Pharmacy attempt “in good faith to negotiate and enter into reciprocity agreements with other states.” Basically what this means is that Ohio will be unlikely to accept your out of state MMJ card, but you can certainly get in touch with an up and running dispensary to ask them directly.
How much Medical Marijuana Can I purchase?
According to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, a patient (or their caregiver) can purchase one “whole day unit” of marijuana per day. A whole day unit is defined as:
- One-tenth of an ounce (2.83 grams) of plant material
- 295 mg of THC contained in a patch, lotion, cream, or ointment
- 110 mg of THC contained in an oil, tincture, capsule, or edible for oral administration
- 590 mg of THC contained in oil for vaporization
In terms of possession, a qualified patient or their caregiver may possess up to a 90-day supply of cannabis. (A full 90-day supply would be equivalent to 90 “whole day units”). For more information check the state’s official MMJ quantity/possession limits here.
Can I Take My Meds from Ohio to a Different State?
No. Medical marijuana patients may face federal and local charges of transporting marijuana if they cross state lines with the drug. This is true even if the states between which they are traveling allow medical marijuana. Should you need to travel with your marijuana it would be best to contact the state’s Bureau of Health to understand the exact laws of the state you are traveling to in order to not risk breaking the law.
Related Article: How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card By State
Who Can Use Medical cannabis in ohio?
Patients must be at least 18 years of age. If a prospective patient is younger than 18, a patient registration submission must be accompanied by a caregiver registration submission in accordance with rule 3796:7-2-03 before it will be considered complete. Patients who become eighteen years of age during the time period in which their registration is valid may apply for a new registration immediately.
Can I use Medical Marijuana Anywhere in the state?
It is important to remember that marijuana consumption is illegal on a Federal Level. It is advised to consume your medicine responsibly according to the laws of the state, which currently do not allow for the use of marijuana in public locations.
How Much Should I consume?
We are not doctors or physicians, and therefore you should always consult with a health professional (i.e. your doctor) before using.
Additional Updates on the Ohio Medical Cannabis Program
Ohio currently allows residents to obtain what’s known as an “affirmative defense provision” from their physician’s office. This effectively allows eligible patients to possess marijuana and paraphernalia while waiting for their MMJ card to arrive.
Be advised, however, that not all Ohio doctors are on board with the provision. According to Marijuana Policy Project Senior Legislative Counsel Chris Lindsey in a statement to Watchdog.org, the affirmative defense “was not clearly articulated within the law, and that it [is leading] to an unwillingness by state regulators to adequately protect patients [prior to] the program launch date … The net effect is that patients [have been] left out of the program much longer than anyone [initially] predicted.”
In other words, the medical marijuana program in Ohio is up and running, but it’s still got a lot of kinks to iron out before we would call it “fully operational.” In fact, less than 30% of approved OH MMJ patients had even purchased meds from a licensed state cannabis dispensary. That’s a problem, and state officials are going to have to figure things out soon.
If applying for medical cannabis in Ohio sounds like a massive waste of time and money, be advised that CBD oil is widely available in the state, WITHOUT the need for an MMJ card. Learn more by visiting this link:
Need a Medical Marijuana Card? Can’t find an OH cannabis doctor? Have any additional questions about the application process? Let us help by Starting Here