Ohio officials have begun the application process for physicians to be certified for prescribing medical marijuana to patients.
The Medical Board of Ohio announced Monday that doctors can now apply to recommend the use of medical marijuana to qualified patients.
The first round of approvals for “certificates to recommend” is expected to be approved on April 11 after doctor applications are reviewed by the state medical board, according to the medical board’s website.
The use of marijuana for medical purposes was legalized Sept. 8, 2016, by state law. It allows patients with qualifying medical conditions and recommendations by a certified physician to apply for medical marijuana patient cards.
The medical marijuana program allows for patients with one of 21 medical conditions to buy and use marijuana if recommended to them by a physician. Smoking marijuana and growing it at home were not allowed in the law.
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy is putting the final touches on the patient registry system to obtain patient cards, one of the last steps that needs to be finished for the tightly controlled program.
“We are working on finalizing the process and rolling that out sometime in the summer. We are still working on getting the parts and pieces together,” pharmacy spokesman Cameron McNamee said.
The state Department of Commerce has approved provisional licenses for 24 marijuana-growing facilities, 12 each for large and small facilities. The only northwest Ohio large grower will be Standard Wellness Co., with a facility in Gibsonburg. The department issued a provisional license for a smaller grow operation to Ohio Grow LLC at 367 E. State Line Rd. in Toledo.
Mr. McNamee said the pharmacy board will likely announce the awarding of provisional licenses for dispensaries in the spring. The state received 370 applications for retail outlets, including 18 applications seeking to open local dispensaries.
Rules established by state officials allow for two dispensaries in Lucas County and one retail outlet to serve Wood, Henry, and Hancock counties.