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The OMMCP Gives Coronavirus Guidelines

The OMMCP staff will also be working remotely until further notice

In an effort to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program staff will be working remotely until further notice. MMCP staff will be conducting business as usual; however, responses may take a longer than normal. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this public health event.

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH – DIRECTOR’S ORDER TO STAY AT HOME

On March 22, 2020, Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton, issued a Director’s Order to Stay at Home. This order permits individuals to leave their residence to work for or obtain services through a healthcare and public health operation. The order further states that licensed medical marijuana dispensaries are considered a healthcare and public health operation and will not be closed as a result of the order. A copy of the order may be reviewed here.

GUIDANCE FOR PATIENTS & CAREGIVERS

Temporary Expansion of Caregiver Registration

In order to expedite the caregiver registration process and reduce exposure to higher risk patients during the COVID-19 outbreak, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy issued guidance for caregiver registration that authorizes a patient to have up to three caregivers. Additionally, the guidance permits caregivers to be added by submitting an application directly to the Board of Pharmacy. This guidance, along with the Board’s new Caregiver Registration Application, can be accessed here.

PHOTO IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

In order to address patient access and closures of BMVs around the state, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has adopted the following guidance on photo identification requirements. This guidance can be accessed here.

ODH COVID-19 GUIDANCE

Those most at risk for COVID-19 are older adults and those with serious chronic medical conditions. Below are some resources to help patients and caregivers during this time.

The Ohio Department of Health has issued the following applicable COVID-19 checklists:

ACCEPTING PHONE ORDERS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA

In an effort to further protect patients, caregivers, and dispensary employees during a public health emergency, the Board now permits a patient/caregiver to telephone a medical marijuana dispensary and place an order for the sale of medical marijuana. This guidance can be accessed here.

GUIDANCE FOR DISPENSARIES

MAINTAINING CLEAN AND SANITARY CONDITIONS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS

Dispensaries should be aware that older adults, people who are immunocompromised, and those who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19.

To ensure patient safety, Ohio-licensed dispensaries are required to implement safeguards to ensure dispensaries are maintained under clean and sanitary conditions. Requirements for maintaining clean and sanitary conditions during the COVID-19 outbreak can be accessed here.

GUIDANCE FOR CTR PHYSICIANS

On March 18, 2020, the State Medical Board of Ohio met and voted to suspend enforcement of telemedicine regulations for licensees during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will allow physicians with a CTR to use telemedicine in place of in-person visits to make recommendations and renewals for medical marijuana.

CTR physicians are also encouraged to add caregivers for their medical marijuana patients, as many patients may be at higher risk for illness and should not be visiting dispensaries to purchase their medical marijuana. Caregivers may now be registered by the CTR physician without an in-person visit. However, caregivers will still be subject to review and processing by the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy before they are eligible for registration. Board staff will be working diligently to process new caregiver registrations as soon as possible.

Physicians must document their use of telemedicine and meet minimal standards of care. The Medical Board will provide advance notice before resuming enforcement of the above regulation when the state emergency orders are lifted.

Click here to view the current state and federal Telemedicine Guidance.

GUIDANCE FOR CULTIVATORS, PROCESSORS AND TESTING LABORATORIES

Source: OMMCP

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