The list of qualifying conditions covered by Ohio’s medical marijuana program grew by one this week, while state regulators rejected a bid to have two others added.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the state’s medical board committee agreed Wednesday to add cachexia, or wasting syndrome, to the list of conditions for which a patient may qualify for a medical cannabis prescription. But the same panel of regulators rejected a petition to add autism and anxiety to the list.
Ohio’s medical marijuana law, which was established in 2016, allows a prescription for the following medical conditions: AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable, Parkinson’s disease, positive status for HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and ulcerative colitis.
According to the Enquirer, the medical board listened to appeals “from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus and the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association” to reject autism and anxiety as qualifying conditions.
“The inclusion of autism and anxiety as conditions has the potential to negatively impact the health and well being of thousands of children in Ohio,” Sarah Kincaid of the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association said, as quoted by the Enquirer. “There is little rigorous evidence that marijuana or its derivatives is of benefit for patients with autism and anxiety, but there is a substantial association between cannabis use and the onset or worsening of several psychiatric conditions.”
State regulators did, however, recently approve tweaks to the law that allow patients to obtain more medical cannabis. In April, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy unveiled new rules that changes a patients’ 90-day supply of marijuana “into two 45-day fill periods based upon the patient’s current, active recommendation.”
“The first fill period consists of days 1-45 of the recommendation and the second fill period consists of days 46-90 of the recommendation,” the board of pharmacy said in its guidance.
“In each 45-day fill period, a patient may purchase up to a 45-day supply of medical marijuana, regardless of when purchases are made within the 45-day fill period. For example, if a patient comes in on Day 25 who has not purchased any product during the fill period, that patient may purchase up to a 45-day supply of medical marijuana.”