What You Need to Know About the Legal Status of Cannabis in Ohio

The legal status of cannabis in Ohio can be confusing, but it’s important to know the basics. Here’s what you need to know about the legal status of cannabis in Ohio.

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In November 2015, Ohio became the 25th state to legalize the use of medical marijuana. In 2016, a task force was created to study the issue and make recommendations for a potential regulatory system. In 2017, the task force released its recommendations, which included a proposal to allow patients with certain medical conditions to use marijuana for therapeutic purposes. However, the task force also recommended against legalizing recreational marijuana at this time.

The legal status of cannabis in Ohio is currently in flux. While medical marijuana is now legal, there is no comprehensive regulatory system in place yet. Recreational marijuana remains illegal. However, there has been some movement towards decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

It is important to be aware of the current legal landscape if you are considering using cannabis in Ohio, as the laws are subject to change and there is still much uncertainty surrounding the issue.

As of September 8th, 2016, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes became legal in the state of Ohio. However, there are still many restrictions placed on the use and possession of cannabis. For example, patients are not allowed to grow their own cannabis, and dispensaries are not yet operational. This article will provide an overview of the current legal status of cannabis in Ohio.

Federal Law

In the United States, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970 classified cannabis as a Schedule I drug, making it illegal to cultivate, possess, use, or distribute. The CSA defines Schedule I drugs as substances with a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

While the federal government maintains this classification, a number of states have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize cannabis for recreational use. As of 2019, a total of 33 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized medical cannabis, and 11 states have legalized recreational cannabis.

The conflict between state and federal law creates a number of challenges for businesses and individuals operating in states where cannabis is legal. For example, banks and other financial institutions are subject to federal laws and regulations that prohibit them from doing business with companies involved in the cannabis industry. This can make it difficult for businesses in the industry to access banking services and obtain loans or lines of credit.

State Law

As of June 8, 2016, medical cannabis is legal in Ohio under state law. House Bill 523, signed by Governor John Kasich, made Ohio the 25th state (plus the District of Columbia) to legalize medical marijuana.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program is not yet operational, but is expected to be up and running by September 8, 2018. In the meantime, qualifying patients may possess and use medical cannabis in accordance with HB 523.

Qualifying patients must obtain a recommendation from a licensed physician in order to obtain a medical cannabis card from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. Once they have been issued a card, patients are allowed to purchase and possess up to a 90-day supply of medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program was created to protect patients with a qualifying medical condition, as well as their caregivers, from criminal prosecution under Ohio law. The program provides a framework for patients and caregivers to register with the state and to obtain and use medical marijuana.

Qualifying Conditions

In order to qualify for the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, patients must be diagnosed with at least one of the following qualifying medical conditions by a certified physician:

-Chronic pain
-Inflammatory bowel disease
-Multiple sclerosis
-Parkinson’s disease

Registry ID Card

In order to participate in the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, you must first obtain a valid Registry ID card. You may apply for a Registry ID card by submitting the following to the State Board of Pharmacy:

-A completed Application for an Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program Registry Identification Card
-A non-refundable application fee of $50
-A current, color photograph of the applicant
-Proof of residency in Ohio, such as a driver’s license or state ID card
-If the applicant is a minor, proof of legal guardianship

If you are an out-of-state medical marijuana patient visiting Ohio, you may possess and use medical marijuana in accordance with Ohio’s medical marijuana laws. For more information, please see our page on Out-of-State Medical Marijuana Patients in Ohio.


The first step to getting medical marijuana in Ohio is to visit a licensed dispensary. In order to be eligible, patients must receive a written certification from a state-licensed physician. The certification must indicate that the patient has one of the qualifying medical conditions and that the doctor believes that the patient would benefit from the use of medical marijuana.

Once a patient has a certification, they can register with the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. registration is valid for one year and must be renewed annually. Patients are also required to provide proof of Ohio residency, such as a driver’s license or utility bill.

Once registered, patients can visit any licensed dispensary in Ohio. Dispensaries are not allowed to sell recreational marijuana, so patients must bring their registry card with them in order to make a purchase. Dispensaries are required to verify a patient’s registration before selling them medical marijuana.

The state of Ohio is currently in the process of deciding whether or not to legalize cannabis. There are a lot of pros and cons to this decision, and the state is currently divided on the issue. If cannabis were to be legalized in Ohio, there would be a lot of changes to the state’s economy and legal system.

The Ohio Cannabis Legalization Amendment

In November 2015, Ohio voters will decide whether or not to legalize cannabis for medicinal and recreational use. The amendment, known as Issue 3, would allow people 21 and over to purchase and consume cannabis from licensed dispensaries. It would also establish a system of regulated cultivation and sale of cannabis.

If passed, the amendment would make Ohio the fifth state in the US to legalize recreational cannabis, after Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. It would also make Ohio the 26th state to legalize medicinal cannabis.

The amendment has generated a great deal of debate in Ohio. Those in favor of legalization argue that it will boost the economy and generate tax revenue for the state. They also argue that it will allow people with medical conditions to access a safe and effective treatment option. Those opposed to legalization argue that it will lead to increased use of cannabis by young people, and that it will make driving under the influence more common.

The outcome of the vote on Issue 3 will be watched closely by other states considering legalization measures, as well as by the federal government. Regardless of the outcome, it is clear that the legal landscape surrounding cannabis is changing rapidly, and Ohio is at the forefront of this change.

Timeline for Legalization

The legal status of cannabis in Ohio is shifting rapidly, with new changes occurring on a regular basis. Here is a timeline of the most important developments in the state’s cannabis laws:

-October 2019: Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill legalizing medical cannabis in Ohio. The law went into effect on September 8, 2020.
-January 2020: The first medical cannabis dispensaries opened in Ohio.
-July 2020: A bill was signed allowing patients to possess and use medical cannabis before it is fully legalized.
-September 2020: Recreational cannabis legalization will appear on the ballot as a constitutional amendment. If approved by voters, recreational use will be legal starting January 2021.


So, what does the legal status of cannabis in Ohio mean for you? If you’re a patient, it means that you can finally get the medicine you need without fear of arrest. If you’re a recreational user, it means that you can enjoy your favorite herb in peace. And if you’re a business owner, it means that there are big opportunities on the horizon. No matter who you are, the legal status of cannabis in Ohio is good news.

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