Pubdate: Sat, 14 Apr 2018
Source: Blade, The (Toledo, OH)
Copyright: 2018 The Blade


The Medical Board of Ohio this week approved certificates for
physicians to recommend medical marijuana, another step toward the
legal sale of medicinal pot in the state.

Of the three dozen doctors approved to issue recommendations for
medical marijuana, only two are in the Toledo-area, although more can
be certified later. Dr. Ryan Lakin, medical director for Omni Medical
Services, is based out of Toledo. Dr. Mark Neumann is based out of

Patients can't be prescribed medical marijuana because it's illegal
under federal law, so doctors must recommend its use.

Michigan-based Omni runs a series of clinics for marijuana
recommendations in multiple states. Dr. Lakin has provided
recommendations to Ohio patients to obtain medical marijuana in
Michigan since the Ohio law passed, and said his team has treated
thousands of patients since.

"As I continued my work and we saw patients to follow up, I realized
medical marijuana was offering superior outcomes and patient
satisfaction," he said.

The use of marijuana for medical purposes was legalized Sept. 8, 2016,
by state law. It allows patients with qualifying medical conditions
and recommendations by a certified physician to apply for medical
marijuana patient cards.

The medical marijuana program allows for patients with one of 21
medical conditions to buy and use marijuana if recommended to them by
a physician. Smoking marijuana and growing it at home were not allowed
in the law.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy is finalizing the patient registry system
to obtain patient cards, with its completion expected in late summer,
said Tessie Pollock, director of communication for the Medical Board
of Ohio. Dispensaries will begin selling medical marijuana Sept. 8.

The legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio is a business
opportunity for doctors, and Omni is opening up a statewide network of
offices to meet demand from patients, Dr. Lakin said. The state's law,
he said, focused on responsibility, safety, and availability, making
it one of the better medical marijuana laws, he said.

Dr. Neumann is certified to recommend medical marijuana in Michigan,
and said the drug can be immensely useful, in particular because it
can be an alternative to opiods for patients with chronic pain.

"It's a life changing difference for so many people because they can
eliminate or minimize medicines they are on," he said.

Dr. Neumann said that Ohio-based patients have been asking about
medical marijuana since the law passed, though he has not issued
recommendations to Ohio patients yet.
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