Ohio Adds Three New Qualifying Conditions

Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries can look forward to an uptick in business as state regulators have quietly approved three new qualifying medical conditions for an Ohio MedCard.

The additional ailments:

This brings the number of qualifying conditions up to 22. A memo was issued by the medical board confirming the addition of the conditions. And medical marijuana doctors were notified of the change via the agency’s monthly newsletter. 

The new conditions were actually given the green light back in February by the Ohio State Medical Board. The three conditions are conceivably covered under the existing “chronic and severe or intractable pain” item. However, having them now explicitly listed is expected to attract more patients with those conditions to apply for an Ohio medical marijuana card

It’s important to point out that to qualify as “chronic migraines” patients must experience several episodes over the course of a month. Board member Dr. Amol Soin said at the time of approval: “It’s not like someone has a migraine once a year and it self-resolves and would be a candidate. I don’t think that’s the intention here.”

Updated Ohio Marijuana Qualifying Conditions List

The medical board accepts submissions for new qualifying conditions and votes on them once a year. Cachexia, aka wasting syndrome was added in 2020. And this year, the board voted on a total of 30 petitions to add new conditions. 

In addition to the three new conditions, the board recently advanced three more for consideration in the future including Huntington’s disease, spasticity or persistent muscle spasms, and terminal illness. 

Some of the medical conditions that did not make the cut this year include panic disorder with agoraphobia, restless leg syndrome, and autism spectrum disorder. However, lawmakers introduced a bill earlier this year to add autism to the list.

To apply for an Ohio medical marijuana card, patients must first be approved by a state-certified medical marijuana doctor with whom they have a “bona fide” physician-patient relationship that includes ongoing care.

More than 50 Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries are currently licensed to sell a 90-day supply of cannabis-infused products to qualifying patients with an Ohio medical marijuana card. However, smoking marijuana is still illegal for card-holding patients. 

Since emergency measures were implemented to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, several dispensaries began offering curbside pickup. Home delivery, however, is still not an option in Ohio. Also, patients are not permitted to grow cannabis at home.

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