Ohio is currently accepting new petitions for qualifying conditions. New medical cannabis patients will be able to receive treatment, as long as their qualifying conditions are approved per the state’s regulations.
The petitions will go through and be analyzed by the State Medical Board of Ohio as part of the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. This process is required by law in Ohio, where patients are encouraged to directly advocate for the type of cannabis care they need. Petitions are then evaluated, and new cannabis conditions that were approved are added to the state’s list.
Petitions will be accepted through the last day of the year, so there is still time for interested candidates to apply and try to get their conditions added.
However, there are some rules in place when it comes to what conditions can be added to the state’s list of approved medical reasons to use cannabis. Those seeking to add broad categories or conditions won’t be successful; conditions must be specific. In other words, no attempting to add in “general pain” or “nausea.” If it is a condition that has been previously rejected, there must be new science to support it that will be reviewed this time around. The Board even provides a list of previously-submitted and reviewed scientific studies to ensure they won’t be resubmitted and that only new research will be looked at.
Current Qualifying Conditions
Currently, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable, are all qualifying conditions in Ohio. Also on the list of conditions that can be treated with cannabis are Parkinson’s disease, positive status for HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and ulcerative colitis.
Already added this year is cachexia, also known as wasting syndrome, which is related to chronic conditions like HIV, cancer, and AIDS. However, many were upset that autism was rejected from the list and did not make the cut. Currently, anxiety and autism are both still not approved conditions, despite past attempts by advocates to get them approved, and will not be considered unless there is new, as-yet-unstudied research.
Ohio has had medical cannabis since 2016, and takes a unique approach to its medical cannabis system and the way patients are chosen and medicine is dolled out. Their system of cannabis sales is more similar to pharmacies than to the dispensaries located in other states. Essentially, there is an allowed amount of cannabis that can be gotten at a time, must like a prescription. Additionally, they allow patients to petition directly for medical cannabis conditions.
While there is no guarantee that conditions will be approved, and more controversial conditions like anxiety and autism could still be left off if there is not enough new, supporting science, this is a chance for patients in Ohio to make their voices heard.