Blue Flower

Ohio patients are being shortchanged of their 90-day medical marijuana supply. There have been numerous complaints regarding the Ohio Pharmacy Board Website reports on Ohiomedicalmarijuanaregistry.com of Ohio patient's 90-day supply as reported. Before diving into that issue, here is the history and a look at the Ohio Administrative Rules that govern the Medical Marijuana Control Program 90 day supply.90 day limits

Two Years ago, in March of 2017, several Ohio Patients Network (OPN) board members and patients from around Ohio had a meeting with the Ohio Pharmacy Board to discuss the proposed rules regarding Medical Marijuana forms (oil, dry herb etc), flavor additives, labelling requirements, other items and the 90-day supply. At that meeting, the 90-day supply was proposed by the Pharmacy board to be six ounces for Tier I medical Marijuana. Tier I medical Marijuana has a THC content of twenty-three percent or less.

OPN presented a review other medical marijuana states 90-day (or their equivalent to 90 days) supply limit, we also included the Federal Government supply for the remaining US Government’s IND Federal Patients. The average was a bit over 13 ounces with the Federal Government a little under 21.5 ounces. OPN suggested 12 ounces. At the end of the March 2017 meeting, we came away with the understanding that the proposed 6 ounces would be increased to 9 ounces. The 9 ounces limit is deduced from the following Ohio Administrative Code.

3796:8-2-04 Quantity of medical marijuana that may be purchased by a patient or caregiver.

(A) A patient and a patient's caregiver(s) may collectively purchase no less than a whole day unit at a single time. A whole day unit shall equal the following amounts for each authorized form of medical marijuana:

(1) One-tenth of an ounce (two and eighty-three hundredths grams) of plant material;

Ninety days times 1/10 a whole day is simply 9 ounces. Today’s confusion arises from the commercial implementation of the rules and 3796:8-2-04-B(1)a that also defines a 90 day supply of 8 ounces versus 9 in 3796:8-2-04-A(1). To compound the confusion the Medical Marijuana patients are buying in increments defined as 1/10 ounce (2.83 grams) but counts a days supply as 0.088 oz (2.268 grams/day) per Rule B.. 

The issue of rounding up due to the Pharmacy Board's integer based software.  It vastly inflates what a person has actually purchased. For example, the integer based bookkeeping divides the packet weight Rule A by Rule B (i.e. 0.1/0.088=1.12) and then their software system rounds it up to 2 units purchased as shown on the Ohiomedicalmarijuanaregistry.com patient website. 

Another issue is the concept of the one-day supply coupled with a policy of “USE IT OR LOSE IT”. For example, if you bought a 10-day supply and waited to 20 days to make your next purchase you can lose 10 days of your ability to buy the rest of the 90-day supply. Currently OPN is not aware of the Pharmacy’s rule administrative origins of the “USE IT OR LOSE IT” policy.

Some suggestions & Warnings:

  1. If you buy X day supplies and the website say you bought X+, save all your receipts and screenshots of the Ohiomedicalmarijuanaregistry.com. then call the Pharmacy board at 614-705-1189, but not the Helpline.  This is not a Helpline issue, this is a Pharmacy board issue.
  2. Be aware of the effect of buying in small units see the chart (link below) from the Pharmacy board in how they are calculating a day supply. For example, if you buy a single 1/10 ounce packet you have are booked as having 2, even worse if you buy 1 a day you will run out of 90-day supply on the 45th and not permitted to buy anymore till the next 90 day period. Thus cutting your overall limit in almost half. 
  3. Buying one of each strain will count as 2 units per strain. 
  4. Watch for a change initiated by the Pharmacy board on the Administrative rules regarding Chapter 3796:8-2 Form of Doses, OPN strongly suspects that a Common Sense Initiative (CSI) hearing will be scheduled to amend the rules to end the confusion. There is a public hearing portion of any changes to the program rules. OPN will participate, and we encourage you to as well.
  5. You can see the Board of Pharmacy chart used by the dispensaries used to calculate the number of daily units standard at  http://www.ohiopatientsnetwork.org/Data/Issues/Plant_Material_Days_Supply_Reference.pdf

Conclusion

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program has numerous start-up issues and bugs that need to be improved and corrected.  Ohio Patients need to speak up, make personal visits to their legislatures, go to hearings like the CSI, write letters to your State Representative and for newspaper's "Letters to the Editor".  We, Ohio Patient Network, will do what we can, but frankly, we can not fix it alone.