Ohio Issues New Guidance to Help Patients Maintain Medical Cannabis Access During COVID-19 Outbreak

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As part of its coronavirus response, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP) has issued new guidance to help patients maintain access to medical cannabis.

Medical cannabis dispensaries are considered essential and can remain open under the state’s March 22 stay at home order.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy has announced a temporary expansion of caregiver registration to allow patients to have up to three caregivers. Patients can add a caregiver by submitting an application directly to the Board of Pharmacy.

Due to the closure of Ohio’s BMV locations, the Board of Pharmacy has also adopted new photo identification requirements that allow patients to use an expired method of identification under certain conditions to purchase medical cannabis. Minor patients under the age of 18 may use a birth certificate as an acceptable form of identification.

In addition, the Board of Pharmacy will now allow patients and caregivers to place phone orders with the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries in an effort to protect patients, caregivers and dispensary employees.

Dispensaries are required to take steps to maintain clean and sanitary conditions for patients, including designating six-foot distances, providing hand sanitizer for employees and patients, and implementing separate operating hours for vulnerable populations.

Physicians are permitted to use telemedicine to replace in-person visits with patients to make medical cannabis recommendations and renewals.

Ohio joins other states, such as Pennsylvania, in making temporary changes to medical cannabis regulations in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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