No one in Ohio has a genuine medical marijuana card - despite lots of confusion and claims from people that they do...or they think they do.
Recommendations from physicians cannot be used to get a patient ID until the Ohio Board of Pharmacy opens its online registry for medical marijuana patients, which has been delayed until a yet-to-be-determined date.
Meanwhile, patients desperate for cannabis and CBD treatments continue to spend hundreds of dollars for doctors' recommendations that they cannot use to buy legal medical cannabis in Ohio or any other state for that matter.
"I've had many people come into my office who've said they've got friends who already have their cards,'' said Dr. William Sawyer, per Cincinatti.com.
"We try to explain to them that it’s not possible. But there's a lot of misinformation and misleading marketing going on in Ohio, and people are very convinced of what they've been told by these organizations.''
However, neither group can issue MMJ cards and their doctors' recommendations can only be applied toward a patient ID card for when the Pharmacy Board online registry opens.
Dr. Sawyer said these groups are sowing confusion between a recommendation letter and an ID card.
"It's unfortunate that that's happening because it creates problems for us who are doing it correctly, added Sawyer, who is among about 300 Ohio doctors who are certified by the state to recommend medical marijuana.
Sawyer says he won't recommend a patient for treatment until the patient registry opens, which could take a while in that Ohio’s more than two dozen cultivators are not expected to begin delivering products to dispensaries until early next year.
It is all very confusing for medical patients who have been waiting patiently after a series of legal setbacks and delays. Ohio has long missed its Sept. 8, 2018 deadline.
One Ohioan, a 30-year-old retired Marine infantryman, recently paid $220 for a doctor's recommendation that he assumed would allow him to use cannabis to treat his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts that have afflicted him after his 2-year tour in Afghanistan.
Come on Ohio, you can do better for our Veterans and you can do better for the thousands of adults and children who need medical marijuana.