The medical marijuana control act was signed into law by then-Governor John Kasich in 2016, but the first Ohio dispensary didn’t open until March of this year.
Fortunately, the public has been patient with the program’s delayed rollout because, as marijuana enthusiasts know, a slow burn leads to a longer-lasting and overall better experience. It’s been worth the wait.
The state has already opened 28 dispensaries across Ohio, each offering an array of products, including flower, tinctures, oils, topicals and edibles, made from an assortment of cannabis strains offering varying concentrations of THC and CBD, the two components that patients use to control symptoms and experience relief.
As the program continues to roll out, more dispensaries will open. Currently, 28 provisional licensees are still awaiting state approval before receiving their Certificates of Operation to open as a dispensary.
Looking to visit an Ohio dispensary to purchase medical marijuana? You must first be entered into the patient registry maintained by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
To do that, there are a few crucial steps that you’ll need to take first.
1) See if you qualify
Medical marijuana is just that— medical. It is not available for everyone.
There are 21 qualifying conditions in Ohio, including: HIV/AIDS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer’s disease, Cancer, Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, Epilepsy or other seizure disorder, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Hepatitis C, Inflammatory bowel disease, Multiple sclerosis (MS), Pain: either chronic, severe, or intractable (difficult to manage), Parkinson’s disease, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Sickle cell anemia, Spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s syndrome, Traumatic brain injury, Ulcerative colitis.
Currently, more than 42,000 people can legally buy medical marijuana in Ohio. The majority of Ohioans registered in the program cite chronic pain, PTSD, fibromyalgia, and cancer as conditions for using medical marijuana.
At Soothe, a medical marijuana dispensary on N. Main St. in Bowling Green, general manager Mimi Gonzalez has seen a variety of patients, saying “We have many patients with serious health issues who seek us out for consultation to learn what strains will be most effective in addressing those health concerns.”
If you are unsure whether or not your medical status qualifies according to the list, it’s still worth moving on to the next step.
2) Visit a doctor
To be entered into the state registry, you need a doctor’s recommendation. The physician must certify:
- there is a bona fide patient-physician relationship.
- the patient has a qualifying medical condition.
- the physician has discussed the benefits and risks of medicinal cannabis.
- the physician has reviewed the patient’s records in the state’s controlled substances database.
When visiting the doctor, both patients (adults and minors) and caregivers, need to bring an unexpired state driver’s license or ID card or U.S. passport with them to the doctor’s office.
Caregivers, who are certified by the state to be authorized to transport medical marijuana for the benefit and use of a patient, must be at least 21 years old and are limited to act in that capacity for a maximum of two patients. Patients can have up to two caregivers. Patients are not required to designate a caregiver, but a named caregiver is a good option for patients who have a disability, or would otherwise find it difficult to get to a dispensary.
There are 514 physicians across the state that are certified to recommend medical marijuana, per information from June 2019. You’ll find 22 doctors in Lucas County, four in Wood County, and a little over 20 doctors in the surrounding areas.
Please note: This list was created based on information available through Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program’s online resource. It is not intended to be comprehensive and might include information that is incorrect and/or out-of-date at the present time. Physicians are required to have an active Certificate to Recommend (CTR) from the State Medical Board of Ohio. For more information, visit medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov.
John Biery: 2612 Autumn Ridge Dr., Lima. 45801
Kurt Kuhlman: 939 W. Market St. Suite 1. Lima. 45805
Mohamed Eldirani: 2366 Shawnee Rd. Lima. 45805
Rajbir Bajwa: 815 Defiance St., Wapakoneta. 45895-1020
Alan Robbins: 306 Williams St., Huron. 44839-1648
Anupam Jha: 1031 Pierce St., Sandusky. 44870
James Preston: 1621 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. 44870
Larry Robinson: 613 Cold Creek Blvd., Sandusky. 44870
Michael Hamilton: 423 Anchorage Cir., Huron 44839-1902
Robert Hill: 2500 W. Strub Rd. Suite 230. Sandusky. 44870
Susan Graham: 3703 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. 44870-5719
Timothy Sutton: 1610 Cleveland Rd. W. Sandusky. 44870
Melissa Pifer: 128 Depot St., Wauseon. 43567-1305
Brad Bundy: 1211 S. Main St., Findlay. 45840
Christian Jacobus: Bridge Home Health And Hospice: 15100 Birchaven Ln., Findlay. 45840
Harold Edmiston: 108 West Main St. Fayette, OH 43522
Joseph Lamancusa: 207 W. Wallace St., Findlay. 45840-1212
Barry Zadeh: 48 Executive Dr. Suite C. Norwalk. 44857
Adam Walter: 2105 Hawthorne Rd., Ottawa Hills. 43606-2644
Arshad Husain: 1421 S. Reynolds Rd., Toledo. 43615-7413
Ashvin Felix: 2939 W. Course Rd., Maumee. 43537
Cuneyd Tolek: 5653 Olde Post Rd., Sylvania. 43560
Damodar Reddy: 2213 Cherry St., Toledo. 43608-2603
Faizan Hafeez: 9223 Twin Creek Ln., Sylvania. 43560. & 3020 N. McCord Rd. Suite 102. Toledo. 43615
Fenil Kholwadwala: 948 Plum Grove Ln., Toledo. 43615-4268
Garth Phibbs: 2109 Hughes Dr. Ste. 820. Toledo. 43606
Kathleen Anne C Rocco: 3000 Arlington, Ms 1088. Toledo .43614
Kenneth Power: 5705 Monclova Rd. Ste. 100. Maumee.43537-1877
Marilyn Agee: 5965 Renaissance Pl #3. Toledo. 43623
Meagan Bower: 3454 Oak Alley Court Suite #214. Toledo. 43606. & 1604 East Perkins Ave., Ste 106. Sandusky, OH. 44870.
Michael Bojrab: 706 Colima Dr., Toledo. 43609-1730
Phillip Fisher: 7640 W. Sylvania Ste K. Toledo. 43560
Robert Rae 5308 Harroun Rd., Ste 155. Sylvania. 43560
Ryan Lakin: 241 N. Superior St., Ste 102. Toledo. 43604-1253
Sanjiv Josh 5300 Harroun Rd., Ste 304 Sylvania. 43560-2146
Sarah Milliron: 2654 Westbrook Dr., Toledo. 43613
Thomas Cox: Arrowhead Family Physicians: 660 Beaver Creek Circle, Suite 110 Maumee. 43537
Thomas Smallwood: 1850 Eastgate Rd., Ste C. Toledo. 43614-3024
Timothy Kasunic: 4126 N. Holland Sylvania Rd., Ste 105 Toledo. 43623
William James: 7071 W. Central Ave., Ste C Toledo Lucas. 43617
Adil Katabay: 1065 Delaware Ave. Ste A. Marion. 43302-6461
Chander Arora: 2433 Cummins Hill Dr., Marion. 43302
Cynthia Caja: 500 W. Mulberry St., Ste 101. Bryan. 43506-1142
Bryan Badik: 1601 Brigham Dr., Suite 250. Perrysburg. 43551
Catherine Carrigan: Catherine Carrigan M.D. Perrysburg Family Physicians 702 Commerce Dr., Ste 160. Perrysburg. 43551
Dee Bialecki-Haase: 1601 Brigham Dr., Ste 250. Perrysburg. 43551-7115
Patrick Bruss: 13391 Ovitt Rd., Perrysburg. 43551
Mark Neumann: 1715 W. Dean Rd., Suite B. Temperance, MI. 48182
Mitchell Kohl: 2140 Stone Rd., Ann Arbor, MI. 48105-2535
After the certified physician has recommended medical marijuana, both patients and caregivers will receive an email with a link to confirm the registration and pay an annual registration fee of $50. For veterans and individuals who qualify for federal entitlement programs, the fee is $25.
Upon payment, the card can be downloaded and a copy can either be printed or shown in an electronic format (on a smartphone) at a dispensary. The card will expire one year from the last day of the month of registration.
4) Visit a dispensary
This isn’t as easy as just walking in. To gain access to a dispensary, you must present a patient registry card and a photo ID at a state-licensed dispensary.
Once inside, trained staff can assist individual patients in selecting the right product. “We take great care in reviewing each patient’s qualifying conditions and any recommendations of their physician as we explain the options in our inventory to address these conditions,” said Gonzalez. “If there is a patient with questions or concerns about a recommendation or any medical marijuana product they can call us to set an appointment for a private consultation by our trained staff.”
According to state law, all medical marijuana products must be stored securely in the original container from the dispensary with the original label, printed individually for each patient and affixed to the container at the time of purchase.
There are currently five dispensaries in Northwest Ohio, two of which are locally-owned.
1238 Conant St., Maumee. bloommedicinals.com
One of five Ohio locations from the multi-state operator, based in Florida.
3157 W. Sylvania Ave., Toledo. risecannabis.com
One of three Ohio locations from the multi-state operation based in Florida.
1155 N. Main St., Bowling Green. soothebg.com
The sole location of the independently-owned local business.
1800 E. State St., Fremont. terrasanacannabisco.com
One of four locations from the Ohio-owned operation based in Columbus.
The Forest Sandusky, LLC
1651 Tiffin Ave., Sandusky. theforestohio.com
The sister company of Standard Wellness, LLC, a Gibsonburg, Ohio-based Level 1 state-licensed medical marijuana cultivator and processor.
5) Pick up a product
Patients are limited to a “90-day supply” at any given time, per state law, and amounts are tracked across the state. Since appetites vary, and a “90-day supply” for you might be very different than what it was for your college roommate, the state defines the supply by THC content.
Fortunately, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a marijuana compound that generates a high or euphoric feeling, so it isn’t necessarily the go-to compound for medical marijuana users.
Another compound, CBD (cannabidiol) does not generate a high, so state regulations allow for the purchase and possession of greater amounts of products that have higher CBD and lower THC content.
So, what does a “90-day supply” of THC look like? Here are the equivalents of several types of products:
- Up to 8 ounces of cannabis at or below 23 percent THC
- Up to 5.3 ounces of cannabis between 23 percent and 35 percent THC
- Patches, lotions, creams (topical forms) of medical marijuana with less than 26.55 grams of THC.
- Up to 9.9 grams of THC from cannabis oil, tincture, capsules, and other edible forms.
- Oil for vaporization containing up to 53.1 grams of THC.
For answers to additional questions about Ohio’s medical marijuana program, visit medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov or call, toll-free 1-833-4OH-MMCP (1-833-464-6627)