How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio 2021

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In Growing Marijuana in Ohio – OH Cannabis State Laws (2021) we gave a brief overview on how Ohio residents can apply to their state’s medical marijuana program. Recreational marijuana is still illegal in the Buckeye State so if you are a patient with a debilitating condition, you have no choice but to apply for a medical marijuana card.

Overview of Medical Marijuana in Ohio

Ohio decriminalized marijuana fairly early in 1975, bringing down the penalty for possession of up to 100 grams to a minor misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $150. However, medical marrijuana was legalized much later in 2016 when governor John Kasich signed HB 523. This gave patients access to non-smokable forms of cannabis medication and allowed dispensaries to be established.

You can read up on Ohio’s medical marijuana rules here: Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program Rules.

Ohio’s medical marijuana now allows patients to purchase a 90-day supply of marijuana which can be purchased in 45-day increments. Home cultivation is still not allowed. 

Qualifying conditions 

To qualify, a patient must have at least one of the following conditions:

  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Arthritis*
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic migraines*
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Complex regional pain syndrome*
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Huntington’s disease*
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Pain that is either of the following nature: (i) Chronic and severe; or (ii) Intractable
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Positive status for HIV
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Spasticity*
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Terminal illness*
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis

To qualify, your physician must certify that you have at least one qualifying condition. If your condition is not listed, you may petition for it to be added. There are already a number of conditions being considered by the State Medical Board of Ohio but submissions are still accepted. To get directions on how to submit a petition, subscribe to 

Patients under the age of 18 may also apply to Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Program as long as they do it with the help and permission of their parents or legal guardians. They are also required to have at least one caregiver.

Caregivers

Those who wish to apply as a primary caregiver in Ohio must only be at least 21 years old. However, those included in the following databases may not apply to be a caregiver:

  • The system for award management (SAM) maintained by the United States General Services Administration
  • The list of excluded individuals and entities maintained by the office of inspector general in the United States Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to 42 U.S.C. part 1320a-7 (as effective on January 3, 2017) and 42 U.S.C. part 1320c-5 (as effective on January 3, 2017)
  • The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) online abuser registry established under section 5123.52 of the Revised Code
  • The internet-based sex offender and child-victim offender database established under division (A)(11) of section 2950.13 of the Revised Code;
  • The national sex offender public website established under 18 United States Code 16918
  • The internet-based database of Department of Rehabilitation and Correction inmates established under section 5120.66 of the Revised Code
  • The state nurse aide registry established under section 3721.32 of the Revised Code, and there is a statement detailing findings by the director of health that the provider applicant or employee neglected or abused a long-term care facility or residential care facility resident or misappropriated property of such a resident.

A caregiver may provide service to no more than three (3) patients while patients may have up to 3 caregivers.

Why should you get a marijuana card in Ohio

Recreational cannabis is still illegal in Ohio so a medical marijuana card is the only way patients can use cannabis for their conditions legally. 

How to get a medical marijuana card in Ohio

Applying to Ohio’s medical marijuana program is fairly simple and can be done completely online. If you are qualified and would like to apply, here are the steps you should follow:

For patients, minor patients and caregivers

  1. Consult with a physician granted by the State Medical Board of Ohio with an active certificate to recommend (CTR). You can find a list of licensed practitioners here. Make sure you and your caregiver, if designating one, can provide your physician with any of the following:
    • An Ohio driver’s license, a valid Ohio identification card issued by the Ohio bureau of motor vehicles (BMV), or a valid United States passport.

If you qualify, your physician will upload your certification to the Patient Registry directly.

  1. Once your physician has uploaded your recommendation, you will get an email with instructions on how to complete your application in the Patient Registry. Create an account in the Registry and pay the registration fee with a valid credit card. The fee is $50 for patients and $25 for caregivers but this amount can be reduced further if you can provide proof of indigency or veteran status

Caregivers can alternatively fill out the Temporary Expansion of Caregiver Registration form and submit the application to MMCPRegistry@pharmacy.ohio.gov.

3. After your application is approved, you will receive an email entitled “Ohio Medical Marijuana Registry User Activation.” which will provide you instructions on how you can activate your medical marijuana card in the patient registry.

Frequently Asked Questions on Getting an Ohio Medical Marijuana Card

Why do I need to medical marijuana card?

Having an Ohio medical marijuana ID card is the only way patients in the state with a debilitating condition will be able to legally use medical marijuana.

Who is eligible for medical marijuana card?

Patients in Ohio who have at least one qualifying condition may apply for a medical marijuana card.

Why would I want a medical marijuana card?

A medical marijuana card is the only way patients with a debilitating condition can use cannabis in Ohio. Getting an MM Patient card in Ohio is also affordable, making it a good alternative to expensive pain medications.

How long does the process take?

You can download a copy of your Ohio medical marijuana card right after you pay the fees via the OH Medical Marijuana Patient Registry.

How much does it cost to obtain a medical marijuana card?

It costs $50 for patients and $25 for caregivers to apply for a medical marijuana card in Ohio but those who can provide proof of indigency or veteran status may get their fees reduced.

How many plants can I grow with medical marijuana card?

Home cultivation is still not allowed in Ohio.

How much marijuana can I keep with medical marijuana card?

Ohio’s medical marijuana now allows patients to purchase a 90-day supply of marijuana which can be purchased in 45-day increments.

Conclusion

If you’re a patient in Ohio who needs marijuana for your condition, you’ll need to apply into the state’s medical marijuana program. Compared to other states, it’s fairly simple to get an MM Patient card since you basically just need your physician to confirm your qualifying condition. Once you are certified, your physician will be the one to enroll you into the system and you merely need to pay the fee and activate the card to be able to use it. The fees are also fairly reasonable and can even be reduced further, making it a very attractive alternative especially for those on expensive medication.

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