Ohio’s medical marijuana program has been plagued by delays and setbacks. But now, things appear to moving forward—even if at a sluggish pace. And amid all the confusion, the program could be on the verge of becoming more accessible to a broader range of patients. That’s because state officials are considering adding new health conditions to Ohio’s medical marijuana program.
Ohio Could Approve New Qualifying Health Conditions
Under Ohio’s current laws, only patients with one of a predefined set of health conditions can qualify for medical marijuana. Now, the list of conditions that qualify for the program is on the verge of expanding.
As reported by local news sources, Ohio’s medical board is currently reviewing a number of new petitions. Specifically, these petitions request that new health conditions be added to the state’s medical marijuana program.
As per local sources, the state’s medical board is meeting today to review these petitions. All requests that meet the state’s initial legal requirements will advance on to additional reviews.
Then, if all goes well in later-stage reviews, the petitions will be approved. Finally, if that happens, authorities will add the new conditions to the state’s list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions.
State authorities are supposed to make all decisions on these petitions within six months.
Currently, Ohio’s list of health conditions that qualify for medical marijuana includes more than 21 conditions. More specifically, the list includes things like AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, epilepsy, severe chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and more.
If the medical board approves the new conditions, it would open the program to a larger number of patients in the state.
Medical Marijuana in Ohio
This new development is the latest chapter in Ohio’s ongoing medical marijuana story. In many ways, it has become a relatively dramatic and drawn-out tale.
To begin with, the Ohio General Assembly approved a plan to establish a legal medical marijuana program back in 2016. Initially, the plan stipulated that the program be up and running by September 8, 2018.
Clearly, that date has come and gone. And still no medical marijuana is available to patients. When Sep. 8, 2018 rolled around, the state had issued most of the licenses needed for an operational program.
However, because of previous delays and setbacks, there was still work to be done before cultivators would be in a position to grow and harvest anything.
As a result, the state remains stuck in something of a holding pattern until product becomes available. Now, the latest word is that medical marijuana will be for sale and available to patients by January 15, 2019.
As of mid-2018, there were nearly 200 doctors participating in Ohio’s medical marijuana program. And estimates placed the potential number of patients above 200,000.
To begin with, only flower will be available to patients. Interestingly, smoking is still technically prohibited in Ohio. However, vaporizing medical marijuana flower is allowed.
Further down the road, when the program is up and running, the state will expand its offerings to include edibles, concentrates for vaping, and other medical marijuana products.
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