Patients need certified and willing doctors to get medical marijuana. But the state has not made it easy to find them.
Most doctors listed by the State Medical Board of Ohio are not taking new patients. Others have listed their home addresses, not professional offices and contact information.
A Beacon Journal/Ohio.com survey of local physicians found seven in the Akron/Canton area actively taking new patients who are thinking about, or have tried everything but, medical marijuana. They are: Drs. Karin Cseak in Cuyahoga Falls (330-923-3060); Steven Davis in North Canton (833-426-4673); Samer Narouze, James Sable and Dmitri Souza, all at Western Reserve Hospital's Center for Pain in Cuyahoga Falls (330-971-7246); Mark Pellegrino in Canton (330-498-9865); and Karen Pilarski in Medina (234-466-0262).
For the consultation, patients should bring a government-issued photo ID and medical records, if available, documenting any of 21 state-qualified illnesses, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Tourette syndrome, Crohn’s and other bowel diseases, sickle cell anemia, traumatic brain injury, HIV or AIDs, cancer, chronic pain, seizures, multiple sclerosis and more. The doctor then “recommends” that the state issue the patient a cannabis card after verifying the ailment.
Each patient can designate up to two caregivers to purchase the drug on their behalf and help administer it. Caregivers may serve no more than two patients. Annual fees include $50 per patient and $25 per caregiver. Fees are lower for veterans and low-income applicants.
Patients get a 90-day supply with three refills, or about a year's worth of medical marijuana. Any single purchase must be no less than a day’s supply. A 90-day supply is defined as: up to 10 ounces of dried marijuana; 33.3 grams of THC in lotions, creams, or ointments; 11.7 grams of THC in edibles; or 57.7 grams of THC in vaping oils.
For more information, doctors in the area have recommended visiting healer.com. The Green Compassion Network founded by local physicians Julia Appleby and Anne Shingleton can provide more information or connect local patients with doctors at 833-426-4673.
Ohio Marijuana Card, a private company with seven marijuana doctors' offices in Ohio, can be reached at 866-457-5559.
Doctors seeking to become certified to recommend must apply to the State Medical Board of Ohio, which approves a new round of physicians every second Wednesday of the month at its regular meeting. To qualify, doctors must be licensed to practice in Ohio with a responsible track record of prescribing drugs and two hours of training, which can be done live online. Doctors must also have no financial stake in the companies profiting from Ohio’s medical marijuana industry.
Reach Doug Livingston at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3792.