Five Cincinnati-area doctors are among 36 physicians statewide who have been initially approved to recommend medical marijuana to their patients, the State Medical Board of Ohio announced Wednesday.
In Greater Cincinnati, Dr. Jennifer D. Lobert in Blue Ash, and Cincinnati doctors Allison M. Phelps, William P. Sawyer and Christopher D. South, and Michael J. Maloney, have all been approved for “certificates to recommend” (CTRs).
The medical board began accepting applications for such certificates late last month, paving the way for doctors to recommend legal weed to treat nearly two dozen medical conditions under the new Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.
The process is ongoing, and doctors can apply for the certificates any time. The medical board will continue to review applications and plans to approve more next month, according to a spokeswoman.
But patients won’t have access to medical marijuana until Ohio’s program goes live on the state-mandated Sept. 8 deadline.
Even then, the state agencies regulating Ohio’s medical marijuana program have acknowledged that not all of the growers, processors and dispensaries will be fully operational by the launch date.
So far, 24 provisional licenses for large and small marijuana growers have been granted by the Ohio Department of Commerce.
But the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy is still reviewing dispensary applications and setting up a patient registry, which is expected to go live sometime this summer.
Medical marijuana patients would be required to use the registry to receive the medical marijuana patient card necessary to buy weed from a dispensary.
Up to 57 dispensary licenses are expected to be granted sometime next month, giving the operators less than six months to set up shop.
Doctors who applying for certificates must have an active license to practice medicine in Ohio, be registered with the state tool used to track dispensing prescription drugs, take two hours of classes on diagnosing and treating conditions with medical marijuana and have no financial interests in medical marijuana companies.