The Rundown

Irritable bowel syndrome added to list of qualifying condition for medical marijuana

By: - July 17, 2023 4:50 am

COLUMBUS, Ohio — APRIL 20: Samantha Farrell with Sensible Movement Coalition holds a flag depicting a cannabis leaf at a rally in support of legalized marijuana, April 20, 2023, outside the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Graham Stokes for Ohio Capital Journal. Republish photo only with original story.)

Irritable bowel syndrome patients can now use medical marijuana for treatment.

The State Medical Board made IBS the 26th qualifying condition for medical marijuana under Ohio law, and rejected obsessive-compulsive syndrome and autism spectrum disorder as qualifying conditions during Wednesday’s meeting. 

“While this addition will help expand patient access to medical marijuana and help many Ohio patients with this condition, we are disappointed the board did not approve autism spectrum disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder,” said Charlie Trefny, the Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association’s director of government affairs. 

IBS is a chronic condition that affects the stomach and can cause cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. It affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States

Senate Bill 9

This was the fourth time the State Medical Board has received petitions to add autism to the list of qualifying conditions.

Senate Bill 9 would add autism, arthritis, migraines, spasticity or chronic muscle spasms, hospice care or terminal illness, and opioid use disorder to the list of qualifying conditions.

State Sens. Stephen Huffman, R-Tipp City, and Kirk Schuring, R-Canton, introduced the bill earlier this year. 

Among other things, SB 9 would also expand permissible forms of medical marijuana to include pills, capsules and suppositories, oral pouches, oral strips, oral or topical sprays, salves, lotions, or similar items, and inhalers.

Legalizing recreational marijuana

There are currently a couple different ongoing efforts efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol submitted more than enough signatures needed to get a proposal on the November ballot that would legalize and regulate cultivation, manufacturing, testing and sale of marijuana to Ohioans 21 and up. 

The coalition submitted more than 220,000 signatures, well above the necessary 124,000. 

The proposal would also legalize home grow for Ohioans 21 and up with a limit of six plants per person and 12 plants per residence. The proposal would also impose a 10% tax at the point of sale for each transaction.

Since the proposal was submitted by citizens through an initiated statute, it is not an amendment to the state’s constitution. Ohioans will vote on Issue 1 during Aug. 8’s special election, which would require a 60% supermajority of Ohio voters to amend the state’s constitution. 

Ohioans 21 and older would also be able to cultivate, purchase and possess marijuana if House Bill 168 passes. The bipartisan bill is currently in House committee.

Qualifying conditions in Ohio

These are the qualifying medical conditions that are eligible for treatment using medical marijuana under Ohio law: 

  • AIDS
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • cachexia
  • cancer
  • chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • epilepsy or another seizure disorder
  • fibromyalgia
  • glaucoma
  • hepatitis C 
  • Huntington’s disease
  • inflammatory bowel disease 
  • irritable bowel syndrome 
  • 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
  • Spasticity
  • spinal cord disease or injury
  • terminal illness
  • Tourette syndrome
  • traumatic brain injury
  • ulcerative colitis

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Megan Henry
Megan Henry

Megan Henry is a reporter for the Ohio Capital Journal and has spent the past five years reporting in Ohio on various topics including education, healthcare, business and crime. She previously worked at The Columbus Dispatch, part of the USA Today Network.