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What are the Cons of Having a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio?

Medical marijuana use in Ohio comes with its unique set of challenges. While the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program offers legal protection and therapeutic options to qualifying patients, the intersection of state and federal laws can create unforeseen complications for medical marijuana cardholders. This blog delves into the cons of possessing a medical card in the Buckeye State, examining how federal law, law enforcement, and medical use intersect, often with restrictive consequences for Ohio residents.

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Table of Contents:

Limited Dispensary Availability in Ohio

In Ohio, the reach and availability of medical marijuana dispensaries have been steadily increasing. As of the last reports, about 70% of the state's dispensaries were operational, with leading names like Terrasana, Bloom Medicinals, and The Botanist each opening multiple locations. This expansion is part of Ohio's commitment to providing medical marijuana patients with necessary access to their prescriptions. Despite this progress, not all Ohio residents may find a dispensary within a convenient distance, especially those living in more rural areas or smaller towns​​​​.

The recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Ohio under Issue 2 may signal a positive shift towards more accessible cannabis use for adults, including non-medical purposes. This change could potentially ease some of the pressure on medical dispensaries and broaden the options available for consumers​​.

Key Takeaway: While Ohio has made significant strides in medical marijuana availability, with most patients living within 30 minutes of a dispensary, there is still room for improvement, especially in ensuring that all Ohio residents have equal access to medical cannabis.

For those navigating the landscape of medical marijuana in Ohio, it is vital to stay informed about the application process and the various treatment options available. ARCannabisClinic offers a wealth of resources and expert guidance in this area, from helping to understand Ohio's medical marijuana laws to providing advice on how to apply for a medical marijuana card. Their detailed state-by-state guide is a valuable tool for anyone seeking to understand the specifics of obtaining a medical card in Ohio or any other state.

Tweetable Quote: "Accessibility is key in medical marijuana care. Ohio's expansion is promising, but equal access remains vital. #MedicalMarijuana #OhioCannabis #HealthcareEquity" Tweet This

For further support and personalized care, consider exploring ARCannabisClinic's comprehensive MMJ Therapy Visit, which can help tailor a medical marijuana treatment plan to your specific needs.

High Costs Associated with Obtaining and Using a Medical Marijuana Card

The costs associated with obtaining and using a medical marijuana card in Ohio encompass more than just the initial fee. Prospective medical marijuana patients are required to have an assessment by a Certified to Recommend (CTR) physician. Following this, a patient must pay a $50 fee to the Board of Pharmacy, while caregivers are charged $25. For those who receive SSI/SSDI benefits or veterans, there is a possibility for a fee reduction​​.

Additionally, the price for the required medical consultation can vary, with some physicians in Ohio charging up to $299 for the examination. Often, discounts are provided to veterans and senior citizens to make this more accessible​​. Once a patient has their medical marijuana card, they face the ongoing costs of purchasing cannabis, which can fluctuate based on the type and quantity needed.

Moreover, the cost of renewing a medical marijuana card in Ohio is a consideration that patients must plan for. Some providers charge $200 for annual renewal and require follow-up visits every 6 months for an additional fee. Given these expenses, Ohio residents must carefully consider the financial implications of entering the medical marijuana program.

Companies like ARCannabis Clinic Ohio charge a flat $199 for a yearly medical marijuana card which is one of the cheapest companies in Ohio. They also have a lowest price match guarantee as well so you can rest assured you'll get a great deal using ARCannabis Clinic Ohio.

Key Takeaway: While obtaining a medical marijuana card in Ohio can offer significant relief and legal protection for medical cannabis use, the associated costs—from physician consultations to renewal fees—require thoughtful financial planning.

For a more cost-effective approach, patients can explore price comparisons among different medical marijuana card programs in Ohio, which can provide savings and ensure that patients are not overpaying for these essential services. It's also beneficial for patients to consider the long-term benefits of medical marijuana in managing their conditions, which may outweigh the initial financial outlay.

Tweetable Quote: "The price of wellness shouldn't hinder access to medical marijuana. Ohio's program needs to balance care with affordability. #OhioMMJ #MedicalCannabis #HealthcareCosts" Tweet This

For comprehensive support and guidance on managing these costs and understanding the full spectrum of Ohio's medical marijuana laws, ARCannabisClinic's resources, such as their state-by-state guide, can be invaluable.

Lengthy and Complex Application Process

The application process for obtaining an Ohio medical marijuana card involves several steps that can be daunting for new applicants, especially if you use the wrong clinic. Initially, individuals must verify if they have a qualifying medical condition as determined by the Ohio Medical Board, which has approved medical marijuana for a variety of health issues​​.

Following this, a consultation with a certified doctor to recommend medical marijuana is necessary. This involves an examination, a review of medical history, and subsequent follow-up regarding the diagnosis. The physician will also examine medical records and a drug database report before issuing a recommendation to the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy​​.

Once the recommendation is secured, the physician’s office will assist in registering the patient with the Ohio Medical Marijuana Patient Registry. This step includes an email verification and payment of the registration fee—$50 for patients and $25 for caregivers, with discounts available for veterans and low-income individuals. The medical marijuana card, which can be a printed or electronic version, is then ready to be used at dispensaries across Ohio and is valid for one year from the date of issue​​.

ARCannabis Clinic Ohio doctors can take care of the entire process for new and renewal patients for a flat $199 fee and help you get your card the easy way. Other clinics offer minimal support which can be frustrating.

Key Takeaway: The process to obtain a medical marijuana card in Ohio can seem complex due to multiple stages and interactions with healthcare providers and state systems.

For anyone looking to understand the application process in more detail, the Ohio Marijuana Card website provides a resource that guides patients through each step, ensuring they can register successfully and gain access to the medical marijuana they need.

Tweetable Quote: "Understanding Ohio's MMJ card process is the first step to accessing care. It's detailed but leads to a year of wellness. #OhioMMJCard #MedicalMarijuana #PatientCare" Tweet This

For additional assistance with the medical marijuana application process or to learn about qualifying conditions, the ARCannabisClinic pre-qualification survey is a helpful tool for prospective patients.

Potential for Developing Dependency on Medical Marijuana

While medical marijuana offers many therapeutic benefits for managing various medical conditions, the potential for developing dependency is a concern that warrants attention. Studies indicate that marijuana use can lead to use disorder, particularly in those who start using at a young age, with effects such as permanent IQ loss reported in some cases​​.

Marijuana dependency is characterized by a person's increasing need to use more of the substance to achieve the desired effects, with some individuals experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, and physical discomfort​​​​. Approximately 9% of marijuana users develop an addiction, which rises to about 17% for those who start in adolescence, and between 25-50% for daily users​​.

Furthermore, the risk of dependency may be higher among those using medical marijuana to treat chronic conditions like pain, anxiety, or depression​​. It is crucial for medical professionals and patients to weigh the benefits of medical cannabis against these risks, ensuring that medical use does not transition into dependency​​.

Key Takeaway: The risk of developing dependency on medical marijuana is an essential consideration for both patients and healthcare providers, particularly for those treating chronic ailments or with long-term use.

Tweetable Quote: "Medical marijuana brings relief, but awareness of dependency risks is vital for sustainable treatment. #MedicalMarijuana #CannabisCare #HealthAwareness" Tweet This

It's essential for patients to consult with healthcare providers who can offer guidance on the safe use of medical marijuana and help manage the risk of dependency. Resources such as the ARCannabisClinic's medical screening can provide valuable information to those considering medical marijuana as a treatment option.

Legal Restrictions on Firearm Ownership for Cardholders

The intersection of medical marijuana use and firearm ownership is a complex issue due to the discord between state and federal laws. Under federal law, cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance, which categorically prohibits medical marijuana users from possessing firearms. The legal stance is that the use of a controlled substance, which includes state-legal medical cannabis, disqualifies individuals from the legal ownership or purchase of firearms. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has been explicit in this regulation, advising licensed firearms dealers since 2011 that those who hold a medical marijuana card are not permitted to purchase firearms from their establishments​​​​.

The origins of this restriction can be traced back to the Gun Control Act of 1968, which places medical marijuana cardholders in the same category as those prohibited from owning guns, such as violent criminals and individuals with severe mental illnesses. This federal act restricts anyone from possessing guns or ammunition if they use or are deemed addicted to cannabis or any other controlled substance​​.

However, the enforcement of these federal guidelines can vary at the state level, leading to a patchwork of interpretations and enforcement strategies across the country. Some states may not actively enforce the federal restrictions, creating a confusing legal environment for medical marijuana patients who are also gun owners or wish to become gun owners​​.

Key Takeaway: Although state laws may allow the use of medical marijuana, federal law maintains strict prohibitions on firearm ownership for those who use or are dependent on controlled substances, including cannabis.

Tweetable Quote: "Federal law draws a hard line: medical marijuana use means no firearms ownership. State compliance varies, but the risk remains. #FirearmOwnership #MedicalMarijuana #LegalComplexity" Tweet This

For those seeking further information on the legal intricacies of medical marijuana use, firearm ownership, and how these may impact your rights, visiting resources such as the ARCannabisClinic's guide to medical marijuana laws can provide clarity and guidance.

Risk of Losing Commercial Driver's License

Commercial drivers holding a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) must adhere to federal regulations, regardless of state laws on medical marijuana. Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, and its use is prohibited for CDL holders by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Consequently, CDL drivers who test positive for THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, are at risk of losing their license. This regulation applies even if the individual holds a medical marijuana card, as the federal government does not recognize state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs for the purposes of federal transportation law​​​​​​.

A positive test for marijuana can result in immediate job loss and may trigger a mandatory rehabilitation process for the driver. This strict approach is because CDL drivers operate Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs), and the use of substances that can impair their ability to drive safely is seen as a significant risk to public safety. The FMCSA's stance reflects a zero-tolerance policy for drug use among CDL holders, which aligns with federal drug-free workplace laws that govern safety-sensitive positions​​.

Key Takeaway: CDL drivers should be acutely aware that federal law does not permit the use of medical marijuana and doing so can jeopardize their commercial driving privileges.

Tweetable Quote: "CDL holders, take note: Federal law trumps state medical marijuana cards, putting your license on the line. Drive safe, drive smart. #CDL #DrugFreeDriving #SafetyFirst" Tweet This

For more information on how medical marijuana can affect one's CDL and the associated legalities, commercial drivers can look into resources like the CDL guide provided by ARCannabisClinic, which may offer insights into how to navigate these complex regulations.


Are there downsides to having a medical marijuana card in Ohio? Yes, despite the medical benefits and legal protection provided by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, there are cons, such as potential legal issues regarding federal law and firearm ownership, employment concerns, and the risk of dependency.

Can Ohio residents with a medical marijuana card legally own firearms? No, federal law prohibits medical marijuana cardholders from firearm ownership due to cannabis's status as a controlled substance.

Does using medical marijuana affect one’s commercial driver’s license in Ohio? Yes, the use of medical marijuana can lead to the loss of a commercial driver's license due to federal transportation regulations.

Will Ohio law enforcement recognize my medical marijuana card from another state? No, Ohio does not have reciprocity agreements for medical marijuana cards with other states, so only Ohio-issued cards are recognized.

Are medical marijuana patients in Ohio protected from federal prosecution? No, despite state laws permitting medical use, federal law still classifies marijuana as an illegal controlled substance, and federal prosecution remains a possibility.

Is the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program the only way to legally obtain cannabis in the state? Yes, the program is currently the legal avenue for qualified patients to obtain medical cannabis products in Ohio.

Can primary caregivers in Ohio be under twenty-one years of age? No, primary caregivers must be at least twenty-one years old and meet other specific state requirements.

Does Ohio recognize medical marijuana cards for any medical conditions? Yes, Ohio has a list of qualifying medical conditions for which medical marijuana can be recommended.

Are government employees in Ohio allowed to use medical marijuana? This depends on the employer's policy, but federal employees are prohibited due to federal law.

Can you cross state lines with medical marijuana purchased in Ohio? No, transporting medical marijuana across state lines violates federal law and can lead to legal penalties.

What are the medical marijuana possession limits in Ohio? Qualified patients in Ohio are allowed a 90-day supply of medical marijuana, with specific amounts varying based on the form and concentration of the product.

Can a registered patient grow their own marijuana plants in Ohio? No, personal cultivation is not permitted under Ohio’s medical marijuana laws.

Does having a medical marijuana card affect your criminal record in Ohio? No, possessing a medical card itself does not affect your criminal record, but illegal use or possession could result in criminal charges.

Are medical marijuana cardholders subject to drug tests in Ohio? Yes, medical marijuana users can be subject to drug tests, especially in employment or legal situations.

Can medical marijuana cardholders in Ohio face felony charges? Yes, if they violate certain federal laws or state regulations regarding the use, distribution, or cultivation of marijuana.

Do Ohio residents pay sales tax on medical marijuana purchases? Yes, medical marijuana products are subject to sales tax in Ohio.

Is medical marijuana considered a safe treatment option in Ohio? Yes, for many patients, medical marijuana is considered a safe treatment option, especially when compared to certain pharmaceutical alternatives.

Are there side effects associated with medical marijuana treatment? Yes, like any treatment, medical marijuana can have side effects, which should be discussed with a health care practitioner.

Do all medical marijuana states have similar laws to Ohio? No, each state has its own set of laws and regulations regarding medical marijuana.

Is recreational marijuana use allowed for those with a medical marijuana card in Ohio? No, recreational use is still illegal in Ohio, regardless of whether you have a medical marijuana card or not.

Can nurse practitioners in Ohio recommend medical marijuana to patients? Yes, nurse practitioners with a Certificate to Recommend (CTR) can recommend medical marijuana to qualified patients in Ohio.

Will holding a medical marijuana card impact my ability to get a job in Ohio? It can, as employers have the right to enforce drug-free workplace policies and may not hire medical marijuana users, especially if the job is safety-sensitive.

Do all Ohio dispensaries sell the same medical cannabis products? No, the availability of specific medical cannabis products can vary from one dispensary to another within Ohio.

Are Ohio medical marijuana cardholders permitted to use their cannabis in public places? No, public use of medical marijuana is prohibited, and consumption is typically restricted to the patient's private residence.

How often do I need to renew my Ohio medical marijuana card? An Ohio medical marijuana card must be renewed annually, and there is a renewal fee associated with this process.

Can Ohio residents with a medical marijuana card purchase from dispensaries in other medical marijuana states? Generally no, as most states do not allow out-of-state cardholders to purchase from their dispensaries due to lack of reciprocity.

If I have a seizure disorder, can medical marijuana in Ohio help me? Medical marijuana may be recommended for seizure disorders if you are a qualified patient, as conditions like Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are among the state's list of qualifying conditions.

Is it possible to overdose on medical marijuana products in Ohio? While it is highly unlikely to experience a fatal overdose from medical marijuana, consuming large amounts can lead to uncomfortable side effects or acute intoxication.

Are the medical marijuana laws in Ohio subject to change? Yes, Ohio's medical marijuana laws can change as the Ohio legislature periodically reviews and updates cannabis regulations.

Can out-of-state visitors purchase medical marijuana in Ohio? No, only registered Ohio patients with a valid Ohio marijuana card can legally purchase from Ohio dispensaries.

Is it legal to drive under the influence of medical marijuana in Ohio? No, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal and considered a DUI offense in Ohio.

Are there restrictions on where Ohio dispensaries can be located? Yes, Ohio law places restrictions on the proximity of dispensaries to schools, churches, and public playgrounds to ensure public safety.

Does the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program offer financial assistance for those who can't afford their medication? No, the program does not currently offer financial assistance, but some dispensaries may offer discounts or patient assistance programs.

What should I do if my Ohio medical marijuana card is lost or stolen? Report it to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program immediately and apply for a replacement card.

Are medical marijuana cardholders in Ohio protected from discrimination in housing? Not specifically for marijuana use, as landlords can enforce a drug-free policy on their properties.

Can Ohio residents with chronic pain obtain a medical marijuana card? Yes, chronic pain is one of the qualifying conditions for which medical marijuana can be recommended in Ohio.

How do I prove my qualifying medical condition to obtain a medical marijuana card in Ohio? You must provide medical records documenting your condition during your consultation with a CTR physician.

What forms of medical marijuana are available in Ohio? Ohio dispensaries offer various forms including, but not limited to, edibles, oils, tinctures, plant material, and topicals.

Does the federal government's stance on marijuana impact Ohio's medical program? While Ohio has legalized medical marijuana, federal law still considers it a Schedule I substance, affecting things like gun ownership and federal employment for cardholders.

Can I travel to the District of Columbia or other medical marijuana states with my Ohio medical marijuana? No, it is illegal to transport medical marijuana across state lines, even to other states with medical marijuana programs.


Navigating the medical marijuana landscape requires careful consideration, especially when understanding the balance between the benefits and the restrictions that come with a medical cannabis card. For those looking to explore medical marijuana as a treatment option for conditions like chronic pain or post-traumatic stress disorder, expert guidance is crucial. ARCannabisClinic stands as a beacon for those in need, operating a national network of marijuana doctors that assist patients in obtaining a medical marijuana card. Their MMJ Therapy Visit is renowned, offering one-on-one consultations with cannabis experts, ensuring patients receive comprehensive medical marijuana treatment plans tailored to their needs. As pioneers in full diagnosis evaluations, ARCannabisClinic is dedicated to helping patients traverse the intricate path of medical marijuana use, always prioritizing patient safety and adherence to legal standards. For more information, visit ARCannabisClinic and their specialized marijuana therapy programs.

Remember, while the use of medical marijuana is sanctioned by the state of Ohio, federal law continues to classify marijuana as a controlled substance. This dichotomy can influence everything from your ability to purchase firearms to maintaining a commercial driver’s license. It's essential for Ohio residents and medical marijuana users to stay informed of the state's medical marijuana laws, and ARCannabisClinic is an invaluable resource in this journey.

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