A harvester examines marijuana buds from a trimming machine near Corvallis, Oregon. ANDREW SELSKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Area doctors among first licensed to recommend medical pot in Ohio

A doctor in Englewood and a Springfield pediatrician were among the first 36 physicians across Ohio licensed by the state medical board today to recommend medical marijuana to patients.

Dr. Michael Hamilton is the Englewood doctor. He practices at 5 N. Main St. in Englewood. Medical board records say he has been licensed to practice medicine since 1973.

He and Dr. David Zainey of Springfield are the only ones in the area who received a certificate to recommend medical marijuana, though more are expected to be approved at the board’s next meeting.

RELATED: Medical marijuana troubles Ohio doctors: ‘Although it’s natural, (it’s) not like a vitamin’

Reached at home Wednesday, Zainey said he does not currently have a practice but is in the preliminary stages of possibly opening one for integrative medicine in the future. He declined further comment.

The medical board lists his specialty as pediatrics and says he has been licensed to practice medicine in Ohio since 1987.

RELATED: For some medical pot patients, program’s launch can’t come soon enough

Four Cincinnati doctors were also on the list. Six are in Columbus. None are in Greene, Butler or Warren counties.

These doctors are licensed to recommend medical marijuana to patients suffering from one of the 21 qualifying conditions listed in state law. They cannot technically prescribe the drug, as it is still illegal under state law. The doctor’s recommendation will be used to qualify a patient to obtain a medical marijuana card and ultimately buy cannabis at a licensed dispensary when the state’s medical marijuana program is up and running in September.

REGULATORS: Sept 8 deadline to start Ohio medical marijuana program still on

The medical board last week said 43 doctors had met the state’s requirements for a license to recommend medical marijuana to patients, meaning they are licensed doctors in good standing and completed two hours of training.


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