Though marijuana continues to be illegal at the Federal level, some states, such as Colorado and California to name a few, have embraced the legalization with a flurry of support.

There are currently 9 states that have legalized marijuana for recreational as well as medical use. In addition, 29 states have given the go-ahead for their healthcare providers to prescribe medical marijuana, in a variety of forms, to patients that meet the specific criteria laid down by the state law makers.

The state-wide roll out of legalized marijuana has been slow, tricky and unreliable, to say the least. States in the Deep South, with the exception of Arkansas and Florida, have all held firm in their decision not to legalize marijuana for any use in their states. For the states that have ruled to legalize medical marijuana, they have put some stringent regulations on the healthcare providers that write the prescriptions, as well as the dispensaries that provide the product. Some of the states have significant legal restrictions for the disease states in which medical marijuana can be prescribed. Other states have determined that it is acceptable to prescribe specific types of cannabis products such as tinctures but not other formulations, such as buds for the purpose of smoking. An example of this is Ohio. The state of Ohio has been very specific in their medical diagnosis criteria for the prescribing protocol of medical marijuana. The state of Ohio legalized medical marijuana in 2016 but has since deemed some formulations acceptable while others not. For example, Ohio’s law makers have mandated that medical marijuana not be used by smoking or combustion yet has legalized it in vaporization form. These inconsistent state-regulated laws are driving the cannabis business economy to produce work-around options for patients requiring legal use of the drug. Some states have developed online directories to aid patients in finding dispensaries for their specific formulation. One such directory specific to Ohio is grassyohio.com but every state that has legalized cannabis in any form has their own online search options.

Until the US states can come together with the Federal government to make one definitive set of rules and regulations for the prescribing of medical cannabis, the patient will continue to suffer. While this drives the business growth of ancillary medical cannabis providers, it gives sick and dying patients one more thing to concern themselves with. The industry law makers need to roll out one strategic and comprehensive rule book and then they need to put it into law. That is what’s best for the medical cannabis patient and that should be the driving force.