As Ohio dispensaries start to stock their shelves, patients should be aware of available products, and understand the legal limits on dried buds.
With the first medical marijuana dispensaries opening their doors in Ohio, many potential patients are still confused by the rules surrounding cannabis purchase and use. Before visiting one of Ohio’s 56 licensed dispensaries, patients and caregivers should be aware of legal limitations.
While 90% of Ohioans polled in 2015 supported medical marijuana, the final 2016 law was more restrictive than some patients may realize; smoking, or “combustion,” is in fact still outlawed. However, patients and caregivers have several cannabis products to choose from, most of which are available in a 90-day supply.
Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Purchasing Guidelines
- •Cannabis plants: This is the earliest product likely to be available, in the form of dried buds and other plant matter. For a 90-day supply, you can purchase up to eight ounces with a THC level at or below 23%, or up to 5.3 ounces between 23% and 35% THC.
- •Topicals: If you’re interested in patches, lotions, and creams, you may have to be patient. These businesses were just licensed in August 2018 and working toward becoming operational. When they arrive, these products are likely to be in-demand and may be harder to find. When you are able to buy, you can purchase a combination totaling no more than 26.55 grams of THC.
- •Edibles: If your doctor suggests edible forms of medical marijuana, you will be able to purchase up to 9.9 grams at a time, choosing from cannabis oil, capsules, and more.
- •Vaporization: While you won’t be able to smoke medical marijuana products, you will have access to oil for easy, dosage-controlled vaporization. In this case you can purchase up to 53.1 grams of THC for a 90-day supply.
Rules on Cannabis Plant Material
Patients may rightfully be confused by rules on medical marijuana plants. But it’s important to know that legally, you will not be permitted to grow your own marijuana at home. You are also not permitted to smoke marijuana or burn the plant matter. Instead, you will be limited to vaporizing the product, which essentially boils off the oils and cannabinoids found in the buds.As confusing as it is, plant matter might still be a good choice for many patients and caregivers, if they want to avoid possible additives in the oils. Overall, vaporizing or “vaping” medical marijuana allows for more consistent dosages, is considered easier on the lungs, and improves efficiency — all possible reasons that the Ohio legislature chose this limitation.
As of January 2019, the Department of Commerce has granted five licenses to cultivators so that they can sell dried plants directly to dispensaries. However, the Ohio legislature also requires lab testing before the product is sold to patients. While flowers will be the first dispensary item available, it’s also true that the supply will be limited at first. Patients may have to wait for their preferred medical marijuana product or purchase less than a 90-day supply. As the program matures, you can expect increased access to a variety of THC/CBD delivery methods.
The Medical Marijuana Method That’s Right For You
Whether you’re interested in medical marijuana oils, tinctures, or edibles, talk to the doctors at Lakewood Medical Clinic. At the consultation, our experts can explain the difference between products, and help you figure out which type might be best for your medical condition and lifestyle. For all patients new to medical marijuana, we can demystify your choices and help you find relief.