Learn more about marijuana in Ohio
Is Marijuana Legal in Ohio?▼
The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program allows individuals with diseases or conditions severely limiting their quality of life to use medical marijuana. However, marijuana cannot be smoked.
When Did Marijuana Become Legal in Ohio?▼
House Bill 523 was passed by Ohio lawmakers in September of 2016. They predicted the program would be operational by September 2018, but that didn’t happen.
Where Are Dispensaries in Ohio Located?▼
Ohio has approved 56 dispensary licenses, but not all of them are open as of March 2019. There are currently nine open dispensaries. These Ohio medical dispensaries are located in Wintersville, Sandusky, Canton, Jackson, Coshocton, Elyria, East Liverpool, and Wickliffe.
Are They Medical Dispensaries? Recreational?▼
Only medical marijuana sales are legally permitted in Ohio, so only approved medical marijuana patients can buy marijuana.
Where Can Medical Marijuana Be Consumed in Ohio?▼
Though marijuana flower may be legally purchased by patients, it cannot be smoked. Under Ohio law, marijuana can be consumed only in oils, tinctures, edibles, patches, and through non-combustion means, such as vaporization.
HB 523 bill, which became the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, does not “require any public place to accommodate a registered patient's use of medical marijuana [or] prohibit any public place from accommodating a registered patient's use of medical marijuana.”
How Do I Get a Job in the Ohio Medical Marijuana Industry?▼
Anyone looking to work in the industry must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Hold a license issued by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy
- Not have a felony relating to controlled substances on their record
- Consent to be enrolled in the Ohio Attorney General’s fingerprint database
Check out our jobs board for available positions in the marijuana industry.
Is Drug Testing for Marijuana Legal in Ohio?▼
Employers do not have to allow employees to use medical marijuana, and they can drug test an employee over concerns with workplace performance or safety. Ohio is not required to provide workers compensation to medical marijuana cardholder while marijuana remains a Schedule I narcotic on the federal level, nor are employers prohibited from maintaining zero-tolerance policies, as long as they are not discriminatory.
Is Delivery of Marijuana Legal in Ohio?▼
As of August 2018, cannabis delivery is to be done between caregiver and cardholder or from a producer to a dispensary. Cardholders cannot have medical marijuana delivered from a dispensary to their home.
How Can I Pay for Marijuana in Ohio Dispensaries? ▼
Even though dispensaries have opened, banking is an issue for legal marijuana markets across the United States. As a result, the billion-dollar industry continues to run on predominantly cash, though sometimes debit card sales are also seen.
Marijuana is Legal▼
Adopted in September of 2016, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program was passed by lawmakers rather than placed on the state ballot. The medical marijuana program in Ohio is being coordinated by three separate governmental agencies:
- The Ohio Department of Commerce - responsible for the licensing and oversight of growers, product manufacturers (such as an edible producer), and testing laboratories.
- The Ohio Board of Pharmacy - Cardholders, caregivers, and retail dispensary locations are all to be overseen by the Board of Pharmacy. Additionally, the Board of Pharmacy may approve other product forms (such as edibles, oils, topicals, etc…) as necessary.
- The Ohio Board of Medicine - This administrative limb of the program will create and administer a licensing program for physicians. Additionally, the Board of Medicine will have the authority to add conditions if adequate therapeutic evidence exists.
In September 2017, program authorities released the program for all businesses directly involved with cannabis. This includes physicians, cardholders, growers, processors, lab testing, and dispensary locations.
Lawmakers predicted the program would be operational by September 1, 2018 but that was an ambitious guess. Ohio dispensaries started opening in January 2019.
Until a cardholder has been registered in the state database, proving they are a valid medical cardholder in possession of marijuana, they are not protected from the penalties of current Ohio law.
Purchase and Possession Limits▼
Cardholders or their caregiver may purchase and possess a total amount of medical marijuana to treat a cardholder for 90 days. Under the program, marijuana flower is divided into two tiers. Tier 1 refers to marijuana at or below 23 percent THC and tier 2 refers to marijuana with 24 percent, but not higher than 35 percent THC.
Every 90-day period, a person may purchase up to six ounces of tier 1 marijuana and up to four ounces of tier 2.
As of August 2018, The Ohio Board of Pharmacy currently has purchase and possession limits organized by the total quantity of cannabinoids - specifically THC - available in the final product. For medical marijuana in plant form, Ohio has proposed two tiers based on THC concentration:
- Tier 1 would mean marijuana testing at or below 23 percent THC.
- Tier 2 would mean marijuana testing above 23 percent but not more than 35 percent.
Under the program rules, cardholders are able to purchase:
- As much as 8 ounces of Tier 1 marijuana every 90 days
- Up to 5 ounces of tier 2 marijuana every 90 days
- Up to 26.055 g of THC in patches every 90 days
- Up to 9.9 grams of THC in oil, tincture, capsule, or edibles every 90 days
- Up to 53.1 grams of THC content in oil for vaporization every 90 days
Growing Marijuana at Home▼
Under the current marijuana laws in Ohio, only licensed producers may grow marijuana. Any person caught in possession of marijuana plants will be criminally prosecuted based on the total weight of marijuana available from the plant(s).
If the amount is above 200 grams, the person may face felony criminal charges, one-year imprisonment, and fines up to $2,500.
Marijuana and Driving▼
Driving While Intoxicated
Driving while under the influence of marijuana has not changed since medical marijuana became legal. The program specifically prohibits registered cardholders from operating any of the following while under the influence of marijuana:
- A vehicle
- A streetcar
- Trolley without a track
In general, avoid using any vehicle while intoxicated. Ohio has defined the following limits when identifying marijuana intoxication while driving:
- Marijuana metabolite
- In blood - 50 nanograms per milliliter
- In urine - 35 nanograms per milliliter
- Marijuana (THC)
- In blood - 2 nanograms per milliliter
- In urine - 10 nanograms per milliliter
Any person caught driving above these limits may be imprisoned for as much as six months, face license suspension for up to three years, pay fines up to $1,075, and have misdemeanor charges added to your record.
Driving While in Possession of Marijuana
Cardholders are not permitted to use medical marijuana in a vehicle, but transporting products in the original packaging in a secure location in the car is within a cardholder or caregivers’ rights.
If physicians begin to certify cardholders in the use of medical marijuana prior to dispensary locations opening their doors, cardholders may still invoke an affirmative defense to ward off conviction.
Anyone caught driving a vehicle while in possession of marijuana is subject to possession charges, which include fines up to $150 for the first offense.