Medical Marijuana Control Program Update

On September 8, 2016, Ohio House Bill 523 legalized medical marijuana in Ohio. The Medical Marijuana Control Program will allow patients, with certain medical conditions and upon the recommendation of an Ohio-licensed physician, to purchase and use medical marijuana. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program takes effect on September 8, 2018.

Physicians may recommend, but not prescribe, medical marijuana to patients who suffer from certain medical conditions. A physician in Ohio who wants to recommend medical marijuana for a patient must first apply for a Certificate to Recommend through the State Medical Board of Ohio. Applications are available on the Medical Board’s website at http://www.med.ohio.gov.

Ohio physicians applying for the Certificate to Recommend medical marijuana must hold an active and unrestricted Ohio Medical license. Prior to applying for the Certificate, a physician must complete “two hours of continuing medical education” related to diagnosing and treating patients with medical marijuana among other requirements. (See O.A.C. Section 4731-32-02 for more details, and a complete list of Application requirements.)

Prior to recommending medical marijuana for a patient, O.A.C. 4731-32-03 requires that a physician must perform tasks including but not limited to:

• Establish and maintain a bona fide physician-patient relationship;
• Create and maintain a medical record;
• Examine the patient;
• Inquire about the patient’s medical history and any current medications; and
• Include in the patient’s record a diagnosis of the patient’s condition.

There are certain qualifying medical conditions for recommending medical marijuana including but not limited to Parkinson’s disease, ulcerative colitis, fibromyalgia, and cancer. (See R.C. 3796.01(A)(6) for full list of medical conditions).

Qualifying patients must first register with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. Prior to recommending medical marijuana, a physician must determine from the medical marijuana patient registry whether the patient has an active registration for medical marijuana. O.A.C. 4731-32-03. Only patients who are registered with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy may receive a recommendation for medical marijuana.

Physicians may recommend medical marijuana to minors with the consent of the minor’s parent or legal representative. O.A.C. 4731-32-03(C)(5).

You can find the Ohio Medical Board rules regarding the Medical Marijuana Control Program at: http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/4731-32.

As always, if you have any questions about this blog or the State Medical Board of Ohio, please feel free to contact one of the attorneys at Collis Law Group LLC at (614) 486-3909 or email me at Beth@collislaw.com.

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Applying for an Ohio medical license…things to know

Applying for a medical license in Ohio is an important step in your career that should not be taken lightly. When you apply for an Ohio medical license, you should know that every aspect of your application will be reviewed under a magnifying glass. The Medical Board takes the application process very seriously and will not grant you a license until the application is complete and every piece of the application has been reviewed.

It is also important to note that EVERY response that you submit to the Board will be reviewed and if any inconsistencies or questions are raised after reviewing your application, the application process will be stopped and you will be asked for further information to supplement your application. Once you submit an application in Ohio you will most likely not be permitted to withdraw the application once it is submitted.

As it is your application, you should also personally complete the application. I have had people tell me that they have had their office manager, spouse or parent complete an application on their behalf. This is a mistake. You are solely responsible for your responses. Any incorrect responses will be held against you. No one knows the details of your professional experience and history better than you.  Does your office manager know that you were arrested while in college for underage drinking? Do your parents know that you were placed on probation in your residency program? Probably not. So, complete the application yourself.

Be open, honest and accurate on your application. If you were suspended from your residency program don’t put on the application that you were “on vacation”.  Be honest. Read the application carefully and if you have any questions about any of the questions, seek the advice of experienced legal counsel to help you prepare your application.

As always, if you have any questions about this post or about the State Medical Board of Ohio in general, please feel free to contact me at (614) 486-3909 or by email at beth@collislaw.com.