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Ohio Set To Eliminate Fees For Obtaining And Renewing Medical Cards

Emily Mullins

by Emily Mullins

March 1, 2024 01:24 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 2 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho
Ohio Set To Eliminate Fees For Obtaining And Renewing Medical Cards

Ohio’s medical cannabis program officially launched in 2018. Since then, any state residents wishing to obtain or renew a medical marijuana card were subject to a $50 fee paid annually. Caregivers also had to pay a fee of $25. Fortunately, this is about to change.

Effective March 4, 2024, all medical-card-related fees in Ohio will be drastically reduced to just one penny. This change only stands to benefit medical patients and will help incentivize Ohioans to get their medical cards despite upcoming adult-use (recreational) cannabis legalization.

This change was brought about by the Ohio Division of Cannabis Control (DCC), which is further working to entirely eliminate all fees associated with medical cards. For now, the $0.01 charge is the lowest they can go due to necessary software updates that must be implemented. They estimate that the fee will be completely removed by late spring.

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“The DCC understands that a one-cent charge is not ideal; however, at this time, the Division feels it is appropriate and necessary to provide this immediate financial relief for patients and caregivers in the short term while working toward a full fee elimination as soon as the updates to the registry can be made,” the DCC said in a statement.

The fee reduction is a result of ongoing work toward recreational cannabis in the state, which was passed by popular vote in the November 2023 election. The measure has stalled out somewhat as legislators work to meet a compromise regarding the rollout of adult-use cannabis. Sales are set to begin in September, but some lawmakers are pushing for it to happen faster.

“Every day that goes by where we don’t have the ability for folks to either go to the medical dispensaries to legally purchase, we also open ourselves up for an illegal market,” Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio (D) said to WKRC. “All that time that passes without having these pathways to legal purchase, without having expungements, and that means people who could have this on their record that aren’t able to get jobs, not able to change things in their lives because of having this record.”

At the moment, cannabis is legal to possess and grow within the state.

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