Patient access to medical marijuana in Ohio - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Patient access to medical marijuana in Ohio

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The first wave of medical marijuana went on sale last week bringing in $75,000 the first day.

"I've been doing this for over a year and I've been doing edibles and stuff and vaporizing the product and it does relieve the pain at night," said Jason Rowe of Marietta. 

Getting medical marijuana in Ohio begins with a diagnosis from a physician who is certified in the state of Ohio. 

The state currently has 374 physicians who are certified to recommend medical marijuana. Right now more than 3,500 patients are registered in the program.

If a patient suffers from one of the almost two dozen qualifying conditions including cancer, AIDS, and HIV, a doctor must put the patient's information into a registry.

"On the electronic portal, the physician fills out the condition for which they qualify," Dr. Robert Roerich said, a psychiatrist with Southwoods Counseling in Boardman.

Patients will then get an email from the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, which will ask them to pay a $50 registration fee and download a card that they take to a dispensary. Caregivers are only charged a $25 fee.

Dr. Roerich says this provides another option for treatment that's still controlled.

"Without all the options that we can consider, we're limited as far as providing relief for the suffering that they have," he said.

He believes medical marijuana could help with the opioid epidemic.

A state medical board committee is currently reviewing opioid addiction, anxiety, depression, and insomnia as new conditions that could qualify for medical marijuana treatment. 

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