Medical marijuana was legalized in Ohio in 2016, and many chronic pain sufferers were looking forward to giving legal cannabis a try. Unfortunately, there are still barriers to medical marijuana for many people. One of the biggest barriers is cost. Medical marijuana is not cheap to qualify for and obtain.
For starters, patients need a doctor’s recommendation before they can qualify for medical marijuana in the Buckeye State. But these doctor’s visits are expensive and are not covered by insurance. Many doctors charge $250 to $300 to see a patient. Health insurers do not cover these visits, because marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Larger health networks sometimes are less expensive than individual doctors, but large networks in the North Royalton area are not allowing their physicians to write medical marijuana recommendations.
Once the patient has a recommendation in hand, they then need to get a medical marijuana registry card. This card costs $50 to activate. With the card, patients are finally able to purchase medical marijuana. But the medical marijuana itself isn’t cheap either. Two grams of medical marijuana can cost as much as $50. This is more expensive than many illegal marijuana transactions.
Given all these costs, many would-be medical marijuana patients may be tempted to buy marijuana illegally. While this may be cheaper, it is illegal and can expose buyers to charges of drug possession in Ohio. As with all criminal charges, however, there are legal defenses that may apply. Attorneys can discuss possible defenses and defense strategies with their clients.