Medical cannabis regulators in the state of Ohio awarded New Jersey-based Direct Success Inc. a $1 million, three-year contract to operate a toll-free help line for patients, caregivers and doctors navigating the state’s new medical cannabis program.
The company’s subsidiary, Extra Step Assurance, is operating the Bellafontaine, Ohio call center, which opened in February 2017 and has been operating a national medical cannabis help line, called “Cannabis Info Line.” The parent company Direct Success Inc. works with clients in marketing and brand awareness and has an URAC accreditation in specialty pharmacy.
The help line was a required part of Ohio’s medical cannabis legislation by the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy. Ohio’s state medical cannabis program will be fully operational by September. Currently, the state is choosing companies for cannabis product production and distribution.
“Our job is not to convince people if medical cannabis is appropriate for them. Our job is to give them the information so they can talk with their physicians. They have to decide what’s right for them,” CEO Cheryl McDaniel said.
Extra Step Assurance (under the business name Cannabis Expertise) is one of three companies that offer continuing education credits to Ohio physicians, so they can study for medical cannabis certification. Their education programs are offered in Ohio, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. They also offer webinars and symposiums to education medical professional national with a certification upon completion.
The contact requires the help line be staffed Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The help line has the potential to expand to text messages, social media, an app and online chat between call center representatives and Ohio patients and medical personnel.
After failed attempts to win Ohio medical cannabis licenses, a group of hopeful Ohio investors are collecting signatures to get The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Amendment on the ballot. It would expand current law to legalize the cultivation, possession, processing, dispensing and consumption of cannabis for anyone 21 years of age and older.