Ohioans seeking medical marijuana to address chronic pain, cancer, brain injuries and other conditions will have to pay $50 a year to the state for a patient card, according to rules being considered by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Commission.
The advisory panel is taking public comment until Feb. 10 on proposed rules for processors and patients for Ohio’s nascent medical marijuana program. The proposed rules must be adopted by September.
The proposed rules for patients and caregivers include:
- Required registration with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
- Annual registration fees will be $15 for caregivers and $50 for patients — a 50 percent reduction for veterans or indigent patients.
- Minor patients must have a parent or legal representative serve as their caregiver.
- Caregivers must be 21 or older and may serve up to two patients.
- Applications from terminally ill patients shall be approved or denied within 10 business days.
To qualify for the registry, patients must have a physician diagnose that they suffer from a qualifying condition and issue a recommendation that they use medical marijuana.
Up to 40 licenses will be issued for medical marijuana processors, who convert the plant material into oils, extracts, edibles and other forms for patient use. Processors will have to pay $100,000 fee for a license application as well as a $90,000 certificate of operation fee. Annual renewal fees will be $100,000.
The proposed rules for processors spell out requirements for facility plans, access to capital, employee training, safety and ID cards, lab testing and inspections.
Chris Lindsey, senior legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project, a national non-profit that advocates for legal marijuana, said Ohio’s proposed patient rules and fees are not out of line with what has been imposed by other states.
“The initial take (on Ohio’s proposed rules) is I don’t see any serious red flags for patients or caregivers,” Lindsey said. “With every single state program, there is a fee you pay on an annual or biannual basis.”
He noted, however, that Ohio’s proposed fees for processors will make it an expensive state in which to do business.
Ohio legalized medical marijuana last June when Gov. John Kasich signed a bill into law that authorizes use by patients with 21 conditions, including cancer or chronic pain, in the form of edibles, oils, patches and vaporizing. Smoking or home growing it is barred.
The program is being established and regulated by three state agencies: Board of Pharmacy, Department of Commerce and State Medical Board.
OTHER POLITICAL STORIES