A Former Ohio Weed Wonk's Guide to Being a Legal Weed Wonk In Ohio

No, being a Browns fan is not a qualifying condition.

Ohio is a beautiful and wild twilight zone. The people are warm. The weather is more than often unbearably cold. The food is good and heavy. Billboards along state highways remind drivers that God exists and HELL IS REAL. Yet catching lightning bugs, and Fourth of July fireworks, and Lake Effect snow days, and corn fields that go on for miles can all be taken in as a Midwestern heaven on earth. 

Nearly 27 years ago, I was born in Northeastern Ohio, on the west side of ClevelandAnd earlier this week, the Buckeye State became the 26th  to sign into law a plan for a regulated, legal medical-marijuana market.

It's been close to a decade since I left the state and moved out west, but an Ohio upbringing has a tendency to stick to your bones. It's also where I first got down with weed. Then, illegally, in the backseats of cars, on back-country roads, living faster than our surroundings, with my best childhood friends. Now, once the rules and retail shops are established, a whole lot of people from the 513 to the 216, and the 440, will gradually become more 420-friendly. 

With love from Los Angeles; (and some experience with medical weed) Ohio, I hope this helps. 


Legal Bud Basics

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Some pungent and relevant points of note from the new Ohio pot legislation reportedly include

All weed rules, limits, policies, and licensing, will be managed by the Ohio Department of Commerce, State Pharmacy Board, State Medical Board and a not-yet appointed bipartisan advisory committee. The new law "explicitly prohibits smoking marijuana or growing it at home," limiting consumption to farmer-grown, store-bought oils, topicals, and other non-smokables. (Technically, dabbing is vaporizing. So, do with that information what you will.) And until, best-case-scenario, Fall 2017––Ohio medical marijuana patients will still have to procure medical pot products from already legal states, and bring it back to the Birthplace of Aviation. Which, if done by airplane, (or at all really) is still federally zero-chill

Qualifying Conditions

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The KIND reached out to Ohio-based cannabis reporter, Jackie Borchardt ,for some insight into the Buckeye State's first weed-moves, now that Kasich has sparked signed the bowl bill . 

Borchardt came through as the plug (e-mailed us some links to her previously reported pieces). Until being a fan of Cleveland sports teams becomes a qualifying condition for treating your pain with medical marijuana, maybe keep this list of afflictions and life-ending diseases nearby.

"Patients qualify if they have the following conditions: HIV/AIDS; Alzheimer's disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); cancer; chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); Crohn's disease; epilepsy or another seizure disorder; fibromyalgia; glaucoma; hepatitis C; inflammatory bowel disease; multiple sclerosis; pain222 that is chronic, severe, and intractable; Parkinson's disease; post traumatic stress disorder; sickle cell anemia; spinal cord disease or injury; Tourette's syndrome; traumatic brain injury; and ulcerative colitis. Individuals can petition the state medical board to add conditions. 

"Doctors must register with the state, which will require completing some type of continuing education about cannabis, before being able to recommend marijuana to patients with whom they have bona fide relationships."

So, if you see some late-night television commercials cropping up for strip mall doctors in shady offices along Brookpark Road, those dudes probably aren't bona fide. It might serve you best to bounce out in the opposite direction. 

Skyline Chili

TBH, on some days, the only other time of the day you'll need to celebrate other than 4:20 is "Skyline Time." Technically, Skyline Time––what should amount to at least 45 mins to be devoted exclusively to putting different combinations of Cincinnati-style chili into one's face––could go down anytime after the Buckeye State-based, coney cartel opens its doors. But also, 4:27 would be be a chill Skyline Time in order to devote a few pre-chili moments to doing chill/legal weed stuff. There's also Gold Star Chili for our Cincinnati OGs, but that rivalry is a whole other can...

Cedar Point

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If you thought I was about to Checkhov's gun-you-down with the reference to "America's Roller Coast," above, you must already be medicating on said legal THC. Cedar Point is like Disneyland for people who enjoy riding actual rides in an amusement park. A perfect Ohio summer includes at least one trip to the theme park perched along the chemical-soaked shores of Lake Erie. We can only imagine that an elevated-via-edibles, ride on the Millennium Force––a rollercoaster on steroids––would give us some real deal feels. 

A Good Vape Pen

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In Ohio, medical marijuana will not be smokeable, just yet. Tom Haren, an Ohio-based attorney serving a cannabis-interested clientele, says that: "[HB 523] allows for patients suffering from a number of conditions to use and possess a 90-day supply of medical cannabis in various forms, but there is a prohibition on smoking cannabis." 

As such, until it is legally chill to twist up some medical flowers in order to treat your qualifying condition of choice, investing in a reliable cannabis oil vaporizer pen might actually be a wise use of the family weed money.