As a caregiver, you can purchase marijuana for a patient— but only if you have registered for a permit.
The Ohio medical marijuana registry opened in December 2018, allowing all eligible individuals to start the permit process. For suffering patients, this is the first step toward possible relief. But many patients and their loved ones may be wondering about the marijuana purchasing rules for caregivers, as not all patients will find it easy or possible to visit dispensaries on their own.
Who Can Pick Up a Marijuana Prescription
Ohio patients over 18 can apply for a state permit on the recommendation of a state-certified doctor, who must diagnose the patient with one of the 21 qualifying conditions. After diagnosis, the patient has 90 days to apply for the card. Once the permit is received, the patient can buy a 90-day supply of marijuana products from registered dispensaries. While the card comes with a $50 yearly fee, that price is halved for veterans and those on Social Security Disability insurance. Keep track of the expiration date on your permit, as you’ll need to renew it annually.
Of course, not all patients are able to pick up or purchase their own prescriptions. This applies to all patients under 18, who must rely on a parent or guardian. But many other eligible patients may find visiting a dispensary to be burdensome or impossible, sometimes due to the very condition that qualifies them for the prescription. In those cases, the doctor, patient, and caregiver may decide together that the caregiver should register for the permit, at the reduced cost of $25, and be in charge of picking up the prescription for the patient.
How to Become a Licensed Caregiver
While some other states offer at-home marijuana prescription delivery, Ohio law only allows registered caregivers to transport the substance to patients. While there are a few rules for caregivers hoping to apply, the process is fairly streamlined. After a consultation and diagnosis, the physician must submit the patient and caregivers names, along with a note of recommendation, to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. The Board later contacts the caregiver to collect the fees. If needed, patients can later change caregivers in coordination with a doctor’s advice.
There are some restrictions around qualifying as a caregiver. If not a parent, caregivers must be at least 21. A patient can actually have up to two registered caregivers, and one caregiver can service only two patients, although these limits can be extended in special circumstances. In addition, the law seeks to protect patients by excluding any individual in one of several state-run abuse or offender databases.
How Caregivers Can Help Today
If you’re a caregiver of a patient with a qualifying condition, you may be wondering if medical marijuana will be a good fit. We encourage you to reach out to Lakewood Medical Clinic with any questions. At your consultation, we can discuss the best option for your child or ward, and help clarify the registration process so that your loved one can find relief as soon as possible.