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State board to consider new qualifying conditions for medical marijuana

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The Ohio Medical Board will accept petitions to add new qualifying conditions for medical marijuana through the end of the year.

Tessie Pollock, the board’s communication director, said the process is inclusive and straightforward. The petitions are open to not just medical experts, but any person living in or out of the state who believes a new condition should be added.

The board can accept a letter of support from doctors that treat the petitioner or the petitioner themselves, Pollock said.

“All are accepted on the petition, but it all will matter on the weight of what it will have in the review,” she said.

Once all the petitions are submitted by the Dec. 31 deadline, the board will review the petitions in January. During that time, the board will invite experts on medical marijuana and the conditions mentioned in the petitions to give educated recommendations.

“It’s not just the board members; we want to make sure we’re bringing in experts on every level,” she said.

Due to marijuana only recently becoming legal in part of the U.S., Pollock said, few peer-reviewed studies on the benefits of medical marijuana are available, so experts will be vital during the review process. Pollock said the board expects multiple petitions for the same conditions, which they will review in groups.

There is no limit on the number of petitions people can submit, nor is there any limit to the number of petitions that can be approved.

Sheffield resident Patsy Krause, 54, suffers from multiple conditions qualifying her for medical marijuana, including multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder. Although she already qualifies, Krause said more conditions should be added.

“I believe that as the program gets going more and people started benefiting like they see is going to happen, then the doctors will realize this is good for other conditions,” she said.

Krause is waiting for medical marijuana to be available in dispensaries in the county, none of which have opened yet. The dispensary closest to opening here is Club Dispensary on 709 Sugar Lane in Elyria under NMG Ohio, also known as Nevada Medical Group. Robert Hasman, president of Body and Mind Inc. and one of the partners in NMG Ohio, said the space for the dispensary is expected to be completed by late November.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or bwalton@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Facebook @BWalton440 or Twitter @BruceWalton.


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