July 13, 2018, Ohio
The sales of medical cannabis in Ohio are still a couple of months away, but the state is making sure that the transition remains smooth. To ensure the smoothness of the process, they are continuously accessing and amending every aspect of the program. The state’s medical board started the registrations of physicians three months ago. Up till now, it has approved 185 doctors that would be eligible to make medical cannabis recommendations.
Requirements for Physicians to Become the Part of Ohio’s MMJ Program
There are some prerequisites needed to be fulfilled by the physicians who want to operate in the realm of legal medical cannabis. For starters, every certified physician has to complete a 2-credit hour course on medical marijuana and the medical conditions that are part of the program.
There is another requirement, which cannabis activists think would make patients’ access to MMJ difficult. The registered physicians have to attest in a written contract that they are treating a patient not just for the sake of recommending medical cannabis.
Physicians will also be required to discuss the benefits and downsides of medical cannabis with patients before writing the recommendation. In addition, physicians won’t be allowed to recommend medical cannabis to the patients who have a record in the state’s controlled substance database and possess a history of substance abuse.
Physicians are already writing Recommendations
It is important to note that MMJ dispensaries in the state haven’t become operational yet, but the physicians have already started writing recommendations. These recommendation letters are coming handy for the patients to avoid stern action from law enforcement personnel on possessing and using cannabis.
Ohio has devised a robust medical cannabis program with a wide-ranging list of medical conditions. However, experts suggest that the majority of MMJ recommendations will be written for the treatment of chronic pain.
Regarding the number of patients who will sign up for the program in the first two years, there is a significant difference between the estimations made by health officials and industry experts. According to the state’s board of pharmacy, which is partially managing the program, the number of registered patients would be anywhere between 5,000 and 50,000? On the other hand, people working in the industry think the number can go up to 200,000, because of the rising chronic pain cases and the decline in opioid use.
Ohio is moving towards implementing an effective MMJ program even though many things are yet to be done. For instance, the state hasn’t set up a patient registry yet. Moreover, regulators are still in the process of awarding licenses to all the major players of the program i.e. cultivators, manufacturers and dispensaries. The licensing process in Ohio is also facing controversies similar to many other states.
Amid all of this, the regulators are hopeful that the sales of medical cannabis will start by the fourth quarter of this year. For now, you can go to any of the 185 registered physicians to discuss your medical condition (given that it’s part of the qualifying list).
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]