The State Medical Board of Ohio is gearing up to vote on a medical marijuana program expansion that would make more than half of Ohioans eligible for cannabis treatments. On Wednesday, the board’s four-member advisory committee will decide whether or not to recommend adding five new qualifying conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program. If they do, the full 12-member medical board will vote on June 12 to add insomnia, depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder and opioid use disorder to Ohio’s current list of 21 qualifying conditions.
If board members approve the expansion, Ohio will become the first state to specifically codify insomnia and depression as eligible for medical cannabis treatments.
Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Program Covers Conditions Most States Don’t
Ohio legalized medical marijuana in 2016, but a series of delays pushed the actual launch of the program back to late-2018. Dispensaries didn’t open until January 2019, and the wait significantly impacted patients, who had to deal with aggressive law enforcement, confiscations, interference from healthcare provider networks and limited dispensary access.
Those shortcomings notwithstanding, Ohio’s program is poised to be one of the most accessible in the country in terms of qualifying conditions. The 2016 law legalizing medical cannabis lists