Current Status and Outlook for the Remainder of 2018
Work to stand up all portions of the medical marijuana program continues at a rapid pace. To date, 10 cultivators have received certificates of operation and are growing or preparing to grow medical marijuana; an additional 15 are building out their facilities. Five testing labs, 14 processors and 56 dispensaries have received provisional licenses and are building out their facilities. Also, 319 physicians have received certificates to recommend medical marijuana.
Availability of Product:
One cultivator with a certificate of operation has indicated it may have a small batch of medical marijuana – in plant form only – ready in early November. For this medical marijuana to be ready for sale to patients, several things must occur:
• First, medical marijuana products must be tested by a certified laboratory for safety and potency. One testing lab expects to be fully operational by the time the first product is released by a cultivator.
• Second, at least one dispensary must obtain a certificate of operation and be fully operational. The first dispensaries are anticipated to open when the first product is made available.
Once product initially becomes available, it is important to be aware that the supply, variety and statewide availability of medical marijuana products will be limited for the rest of 2018 and possibly into the early months of 2019. Initially, the only product available to purchase will be in plant form, and not all announced dispensary locations may yet be open for business.
We anticipate that Ohio’s experience will be the same as in other states: during the early days of product availability, the limited quantities of medical marijuana will sell out quickly and the few dispensaries that had opened will close again until more product is grown, tested and made available. Based on reports from the industry, the quantity and variety of products available as well as the number of open dispensaries is expected to increase exponentially in early 2019.
Tips for Patients and Caregivers
The safety of patients and the public is of the utmost importance. Patients and caregivers should remember the following tips:
• Medical marijuana must be obtained through the state’s Medical Marijuana Control Program. This requires patients to receive a recommendation from an Ohio licensed physician with an active Certificate to Recommend, and to purchase medical Page 2 November 13, 2018 marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary by presenting a valid photo ID and Patient and Caregiver Registry card.
• Use and store medical marijuana safely. Don’t use medical marijuana while driving or operating machinery and store your medical marijuana in its original container out of the reach of children and those not authorized to use medical marijuana. If you need to report an adverse reaction, call the Medical Marijuana Control Program Toll-Free Helpline at 833- 4OH-MMCP (833-464-6627).
• Know your employer’s policies around medical marijuana. Even with a valid recommendation, your employer may prohibit employees from using medical marijuana. Under the law, employers can maintain drug-free workplace policies.
The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy, the Ohio Department of Commerce and the State Medical Board of Ohio will continue to work toward the Medical Marijuana Control Program’s goal of ensuring safe, stable, reliable sources of medical marijuana for Ohio’s patient community.