The state of Ohio has eased some of its medical marijuana restrictions after repeated complaints that the current system made it difficult for patients to get their medicine when they needed it. The need for a system that works for the patients was further underscored by the danger posed by the Coronavirus pandemic. It forced people to leave the confines of their homes more often than they would have liked, putting them at a greater risk of contracting the virus.
Most medical marijuana patients have weakened immunities due to advanced age and/or serious medical conditions, and they are the last people who should be out and about. State regulations limit patients to a 90 day supply, but soon after the state’s medical-marijuana program picked up some steam, patients noticed something.
They ‘lost’ the days they hadn’t purchased any medical marijuana. So if a patient went to the dispensary on day 30, they would only be able to buy 60 days’ worth of marijuana, effectively losing the first thirty days’ worth. Additionally, any purchases made in the last 90 days were subtracted as patients had to wait for purchases to ‘fall off’ after 90 days before they could purchase more.
On top of that, the patient portal showed an inaccurate number of remaining days, resulting in a system that prevented customers from getting the 90 days’ worth of marijuana they were entitled to.
“I can go for several weeks without buying anything from my local dispensary. Meanwhile, my 90-day purchasing window is getting smaller,” says Ted McLaughlin, a Vietnam War veteran.
“Under the old purchase limits, I had to take several trips to my dispensary in Cleveland rather than being able to stock up all at once,” he says. Patients won’t have to worry about that now after the state made the rules less restrictive.
A patient will now be able to buy 45 days’ worth of products at any point in a 45 day period. And unlike in the previous system, they won’t lose their unpurchased days. Additionally, they won’t carry over to the next period. So if a patient goes to the dispensary on day 30, they can buy 45 days’ worth of marijuana, come back on day 46 and purchase another 45 days’ worth.
“We hope this will provide greater transparency for patients, caregivers, and dispensary employees while still taking steps to ensure patients do not possess more than a 90-day supply as stipulated in the Ohio Revised Code,” says Pharmacy Board spokesman Cameron McNamee.
These changes are likely to be welcomed by the entire marijuana industry, including Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQX: PLPRF), since it has always been a goal of the industry to serve patients in the best way possible, and Ohio’s reforms do just that.
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