Medical marijuana registry now open

WINTERSVILLE — The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program opened the patient and caregiver registry Monday after months of delays, allowing prospective patients to begin the process to receive medical marijuana cards.

Originally, the Ohio MMCP expected to have everything up and running in September, but that date has been pushed back several times, according to state officials.

The first step in the application process requires potential patients to schedule a examination with an approved physician possessing a certificate to recommend. A certificate to recommend means the physician has completed all training required by the state.

There are two physicians in the area possessing a certificate to recommend, and both are located in East Liverpool.

Locally, there will be two dispensaries in the village. The local licenses were awarded to Cresco Labs Ohio LLC and Ohio Valley Natural Relief LLC. OVNR is owned by local businessman Mike Petrella, and Charles Bachtell is the chief executive officer of Cresco Labs, the Website of the Chicago-based company shows.

OVNR will be coming to 840 Canton Road, next to the Gas Lite Restaurant, and Cresco Labs plans to open its business at 180 Main St., the site of the former Lancelot’s restaurant.

Perspective patients must have a valid government-issued identification, including minors. Acceptable identification includes current drivers license, state identification card or passport. Minors needing valid state identification should contact a local deputy registrar location. In the case of a minor, the caregiver also must possess valid identification.

Medical insurance cannot be used to purchase medical marijuana, but can be used for the doctor’s visit, officials noted.

Once a patient has been given a physician’s recommendation, the doctor’s office will enter the person’s name into the patient and caregiver registry. After a name is entered, an e-mail will be sent to the patient to confirm all information and collect the annual fee. The fee for patients is $50 per year, and caregivers must pay $25. Discounts are available for veterans and low-income individuals, according to officials.

The patient registry card can be downloaded to any smartphone or printed out.

Patients must have a valid identification and their registration card to purchase medical marijuana.

One of the largest factors contributing to the delay in Ohio has been lack of available product, according to Ohio MMCP officials. In order to be sold in the Ohio, the marijuana must be grown and processed in the state.

MMCP officials warn patients on the Website that once products become available, they will be in limited supply, variety and availability for the reminder of 2018 and the beginning of 2019.

“One cultivator with a certificate of operation has indicated it may have a small batch of medical marijuana – in plant form only – in the coming weeks,” according to officials. “Not all dispensary locations will be open at first; dispensaries will continue to open into early 2019.”

There are currently 21 conditions approved for treatment with medical marijuana, but the state is accepting applications to add others.

For information regarding the patient registry, contact the MMCP at www.medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov or (833) 464-6627.

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