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Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana in Ohio

Nestled in the American midwest, Ohio sits along the shore of Lake Erie and the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, providing a diverse interior landscape. Over the years, Ohioans -now over 11.5 million in number- have built a robust economy and, in 2018, Ohio will join the other U.S. states who have an operational legal marijuana industry.

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 marijuana medically.
When did marijuana become legal in Ohio?
House Bill 523 was passed by Ohio lawmakers in September of 2016.
Where are the dispensaries in Ohio?
The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and the Department of Commerce are responsible for creating the rules supporting the licensing of laboratories, dispensaries, cultivation sites, patient and caregiver registration, physician requirements and registration, and product manufacturing facilities. According to the program timeline, by May 6th, 2017 rules for marijuana growing facilities must be adopted. By September 8th, 2017, dispensaries, patients and caregivers, physicians, product producers, and laboratories shall all have the rules finalized. By September 2018, dispensaries are required to be fully operational.
Are they MED or REC dispensaries?
As of March 2017, only medical marijuana sales are permitted in Ohio.
Who can be a medical patient in Ohio?
A local physician must assess your medical history, perform a physical assessment in person, and then diagnose one of the following conditions or illnesses:
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
  • Hepatitis C
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Chronic pain - severe or intractable
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Glaucoma
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Tourette's syndrome
  • Crohn's disease
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis
To add conditions or diseases, a petition may be submitted for review by the Ohio Board of Medicine.
How do I become a medical patient in Ohio?
After being certified by a physician (an M.D. or D.O.) as having one of the debilitating diseases or conditions listed above, the patient will have to register with the state Board of Pharmacy.

While the final licensing rules and application process have yet to be determined, the Board of Pharmacy has drafted a $50 annual application fee for patients and a $25 annual application fee for registered caregivers. Ohio has until September 2017 to have the rules finalized.
Where can I smoke?
Though marijuana flower may be legally purchased by patients, it must never be smoked. Under Ohio law, Marijuana can be consumed in oils, tinctures, edibles, patches, and plant form.

While the laws governing patient use are still being written, the HB 523, the 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 much does marijuana cost in Ohio?
As Ohio will not have operational dispensary locations until September of 2018, pricing is difficult to estimate at this time.
How much marijuana can I buy and possess in Ohio?
As of March 2017, only draft rules have been proposed for possession and purchase limits. The 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% THC.
  • Tier 2 would mean marijuana testing above 23% but not more than 35%.
Under the proposed rules, patients would be able to purchase:
  • As much as six ounces of tier 1 marijuana every 90 days
  • Up to four ounces of tier 2 marijuana every 90 days
  • Up to 19,800 mg of THC in patches every 90 days
  • Up to nine grams of THC in oil, tincture, capsule, or edibles every 90 days
  • Up to 40.5 grams of THC content in oil for vaporization every 90 days
Can I grow marijuana? How many plants?
Marijuana may only be legally grown by licensed cultivators.
How do I get a job in the marijuana industry of Ohio?
Ohio has not finalized rules for registering employees to work at dispensaries just yet, though, according to the draft rules, a person will be required to submit their fingerprints for a background check and will be issued an associate key badge from the Board of Pharmacy. The fee and process have not been determined at this time.
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 patients 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 legal?
At this time, rules for delivery only apply from producer to dispensary, not dispensary to a patient.
How to pay for marijuana in Ohio dispensaries?
Though dispensaries have not opened, banking is an issue across the United States marijuana industry. As a result, the billion-dollar industry continues to run on predominantly cash, though sometimes debit card sales are also seen.

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Ohio Marijuana Laws

Adopted in September of 2016, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program was passed by lawmakers rather than on a state ballot. The program is given two years to create and implement strict but fair regulations for the industry. This task 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 - Patients, 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 edible, oil, topical, etc.) as decided 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.
By September 2017, growers, producers, patients, caregivers, and physicians should all know the final legal ruling, but, for now, many of the rules are being drafted. The law allowing a medical marijuana industry in Ohio puts September 1, 2018 as the day the industry is required to be operational, making licensed sales to registered patients.

Until a patient has been registered in the state database, proving they are a valid medical patient in possession of marijuana, they are not protected from the penalties of current Ohio law.

Purchase and Possession Limits
Patients or their caregiver may purchase and possess a total amount of medical marijuana to treat a patient for 90 days. Under the proposed rules, which are required to be finalized by September 8th, 2017, marijuana flower is divided into two tiers. Tier 1 refers to marijuana at or below 23% THC and tier 2 refers to marijuana with 24%, but not higher than 35% 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.

Additionally, it has been proposed that patients may purchase up to 220 mg of THC in patch form every day, meaning up to 19,800 mg of THC in patches every 90 days. A patient may purchase up to nine grams of THC in oil, tincture, capsule, or edible form and as much as 40.5 grams of THC content in oil for vaporization every 90 days.

Since the rules for the medical program have not been finalized, anyone caught in possession of marijuana is subject to misdemeanor criminal charges, which includes a $150 fine for the first offense, as long as the amount is less than 100 grams.
Driving while Intoxicated
Driving while under the influence of marijuana has not changed since medical marijuana became legal. The program specifically prohibits registered patients from operating any of the following while under the influence of marijuana:
  • A vehicle
  • A streetcar
  • Trolley without a track
  • Watercraft
  • Aircraft
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
Patients 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 patient or caregivers' rights. If physicians begin to certify patients in the use of medical marijuana prior to dispensary locations opening their doors, patients 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.
Marijuana Use by Minors
Unless a minor under 18 is a patient registered in the Medical Marijuana Control Program, any child caught with marijuana is subject to misdemeanor criminal charges, including a $150 fine for first offenses.

A minor may be registered to the program by their parent or legal guardian. The parent or legal guardian must consent in writing to the treatment, register as the caregiver for the minor and have a thorough discussion about the risks and possible outcomes of the treatment with a qualifying physician.
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.
Places to Consume Legally
Ohio does not require any public place to allow medical marijuana consumption nor does the law prohibit it.

According to the draft rules proposed in January 2017, medical marijuana or marijuana-infused products cannot be possessed on Federal property. Additionally, medical products can not be used or administered at any public or private place where medical marijuana is specifically prohibited.

As the program develops, more information will come to light. For now, it seems public or private places will choose whether or not they want to allow medical marijuana consumption.

Ohio Marijuana Prices and Economic Data

Ohio has a population of over 11.5 million people. According to one estimate, in other medical states with chronic pain on the list of approved medical conditions, around 1%-2% of the population enrolls. Given enough time, this could represent as many as 230,000 patients across the state.

Unfortunately, Ohio has yet to begin licensing for patients, caregivers, dispensary locations, growing facilities, or product manufacturers. Applications are to be made available no later than September 8th, 2017. The industry is required to be fully operational no later than September 8th, 2018 - exactly two years from when the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program was signed into law.
Taxes and Revenues
According to estimates from Marijuana Business Daily, if between 1%-2% of Ohioans join the medical marijuana registry, as much as $400 million could be generated as the market ages. At the current sales tax rate of 5.75%, over $23 million in tax revenues may be collected.

Marijuana Activities: Things to do in Ohio

Ohio is home to open spaces, forests, and great lakes as well as thriving metropolitan areas each containing a unique slice of American history. Ohio is one of a growing number of states in the U.S. allowing marijuana for medical use. While the marijuana industry continues to grow nationwide, the midwest region is sure to see a rise in the number of cannabis-themed events and activities. Until then, check out these Ohio attractions:
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is both a museum and a preservation effort, educating the masses in the musical humanities while developing an appreciation for the people who electrifyingly surprised the world with their instruments. Learn about music by generation and explore exhibits and 3-d films.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio is a must see for history buffs and aviation enthusiasts. The self-proclaimed world's largest and oldest military aviation museum, this massive facility educates on flight technology that advanced our military might and changed the world of travel.
Footpaths & Waterfalls at Hocking Hills State Park
A uniquely charming place, Hocking Hills State Park is one hour southeast of Columbus, Ohio - the state capital. Seeking a relaxing wooded picnic with your significant other or barbecue with the friends? Hocking Hills has rentable picnic shelters so you can do both! Around the 2,300-acre state park located within Hocking State Forest, there are nine different trails for hiking, two loops for bicycles, an archery arena, a place for fishing or hunting, as well as cliffs, caves, and waterfalls to admire.

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