LIMA — A new medical marijuana clinic opened Thursday.
My Marijuana Card, 2818 Elida Road, is now the second clinic in this region where state-certified physicians are meeting with patients interested in Ohio’s medical marijuana program. The other clinic, Medical Cannabis of Northwest Ohio, started seeing patients in January.
The clinic does not sell marijuana, which can only legally be purchased from a licensed dispensary. But visiting a certified physician is the first step toward obtaining a patient card, a requirement to purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary.
“The doctor does a physical exam, looks over their medical records,” said Mo Branson, founder of My Marijuana Card. “All of our patients have to come in with some prior diagnosis of their condition so we can make sure we have a good basis to go off of.”
Branson said patients should expect to spend 30 to 45 minutes at the clinic, from check-in to check-out.
If a patient is approved, their name will be submitted to the state’s patient and caregiver registry immediately. Branson said that means patients can receive their medical marijuana card the same day as their appointment.
Branson has opened other My Marijuana Card clinics in Fayette, Ohio, and Michigan. There, he estimated about 90 percent of patients are seeking relief from chronic pain. He listed fibromyalgia, cancer, epilepsy and glaucoma as other common conditions physicians at his clinics have seen.
While chronic pain is the most common and subjective condition, Thurston said he hasn’t seen many patients who were seeking marijuana for recreational use.
“I’m pretty strict about it,” he said. “But I’ve seen people get better.”
Thurston said he was originally skeptical of medical marijuana but changed his mind after filling in at another marijuana clinic.
“I don’t drink. I have never smoked a cigarette. … I’m not the least bit interested in recreational drugs,” Thurston said. “I have cleaned up the mess from recreational drugs for my whole life. … I was not really expecting what I found. I agreed to do one shift to cover for him. I saw people who were getting well from things that nobody else was able to cure.”
About 60 patients scheduled an appointment at My Marijuana Card’s Lima clinic Thursday and today, according to Branson. He plans to staff the Elida Road clinic three days per week, with Thursdays and Fridays set aside for patient visits.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.