Ohio Cannabis Law

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A Guide to Ohio Cannabis Laws

Is Marijuana Legal in Ohio?

Ohio still hasn’t legalized recreational cannabis.

Marijuana for medical use is strictly governed under Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program. In order to be in legal compliance, you need to have a qualifying medical condition, have a physician help you enroll in the state registry and obtain marijuana only through a state-approved dispensary.

You can possess only as much as a 90-day supply and cannot grow or otherwise obtain your own marijuana.

What does OHIO’S medical marijuana law say?

  • In 2016, the Ohio General Assembly set up the framework to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio, effective Sept. 8, 2018. It was approved for certain medical conditions, including pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable, PTSD, and traumatic brain injuries. At this time, the only legal forms of medical marijuana will be edibles, oils, patches, plant material and tinctures. Vaporization is permitted. It cannot be smoked or combusted. Home growth is prohibited.
  • The Ohio Department of Commerce is tasked with regulating the licensure of medical marijuana cultivators and processors, as well as the laboratories that test medical marijuana. The state of Ohio Board of Pharmacy will license retail dispensaries and register patients and their caregivers. Additionally, the State Medical Board of Ohio will regulate physicians’ requirements and procedures for applying for and maintaining certificates to recommend medical marijuana and maintain the list of conditions for which medical marijuana can be recommended.

Decriminalized vs. Criminalized Possession (Recreational Use)

  • Here is where things can get a little confusing. Recreational marijuana is illegal in Ohio, but possession is not always criminal. If you are caught in possession of less than 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces), it is considered a minor misdemeanor and you can face a $150 fine. Usually, however, a minor misdemeanor won’t become part of your criminal record.
  • Anything more than 100 grams is considered criminal, and it can be charged as a standard misdemeanor or a felony (depending on quantity). Potential consequences for conviction vary based on a number of details, including charges/quantity and any aggravating factors.
  • Growing/cultivating marijuana is illegal in all circumstances (outside of approved dispensaries), and anyone caught growing/cultivating will likely be charged with possession.

Weed is legal in Ohio for medical use, and illegal but decriminalized for recreational purposes.

  • Only registered patients with a qualifying condition and medical marijuana card can legally use, possess, and purchase limited quantities of cannabis per day or in 90 days without fear of penalty or prosecution. There are 25 qualifying conditions, including AIDS/HIV, cancer, seizure disorders, glaucoma, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.
  • Ohio prohibits unregistered users with no qualifying conditions from using, possessing, and purchasing medical or recreational cannabis. The state decriminalizes the possession of up to 100 grams of recreational cannabis and considers it a minor misdemeanor punishable by a fine of no more than $150 (with no jail time).
    • Medical cannabis is legal in Ohio for registered patients with a qualifying condition and medical marijuana card.
    • Adult-use recreational cannabis is illegal, but small quantities (up to 100 grams) are decriminalized under state law.
    • Medical marijuana patients can use, possess, and purchase limited amounts of cannabis daily or over 90 days, e.g. 2.83 grams (1/10 oz) per day. All other use and possession limits are outlined below.
    • Delta-8 is currently legal but state lawmakers seek to regulate it. Delta-8 in medical marijuana is regulated.
    • You are unable to legally grow cannabis in Ohio.

Is weed legal in Ohio?

  • Weed is legal in Ohio for medicinal purposes and illegal for recreational use. Possession of cannabis in small quantities (up to 100 grams) is decriminalized and considered a misdemeanor under state law.

Is recreational (adult-use) weed legal in Ohio?

  • No. Recreational weed is illegal in Ohio. Under state law, you cannot currently use, purchase, possess, sell, distribute, or produce recreational cannabis products without fear of penalty or prosecution. Failure to follow state cannabis laws can result in fines or jail time depending on quantity and intent.

Medical cannabis purchase and possession limits:

Medical cannabis patients with a valid medical marijuana card can legally use, possess, and purchase limited quantities of weed.

Daily cannabis purchase and possession limit:

  • 2.83 grams (1/10 oz) dried plant material
    • 295 mg of THC in patches, creams, ointments, or lotions
    • 100 mg of THC in oils, tinctures, edibles, capsules, or any other orally consumable cannabis product
    • 590 mg of THC in vape juice or oil

90-day cannabis purchase and possession limit:

  • Tier 1: Up to 8 oz of dried plant material
    • Tier 2: Up to 5 and 3/10 of dried plant material
    • Up to 26.55 grams of THC in patches, creams, ointments, or lotions
  • No more than 9 and 9/10 grams of THC in cannabis oils, tinctures, capsules, or edibles
    • Up to 53 and 1/10 grams of THC in vape juice or oil

90-day cannabis purchase and possession limit (terminal illness):

  • Tier 1: Up to 10 oz dried cannabis plant material
    • Tier 2: Up to 6 and 6/10 oz of dried cannabis plant material
    • Up to 33 and 3/10 of THC in cannabis oils, tinctures, capsules, or edibles
    • No more than 11 and 7/10 grams of THC in oils

Qualifying medical conditions

Conditions approved for medical marijuana in Ohio include:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • AIDS
  • Cachexia, wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain (Severe/Intractable)
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
  • Epilepsy (Seizures)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis C
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Spasticity
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Terminal Illness
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Penalties for weed possession in Ohio

  • Penalties for weed possession aren’t as severe as in Idaho or Iowa. The state has decriminalized simple use and possession of marijuana in small quantities (up to 100 grams), a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $150. Possession of 100-200 grams of marijuana is also a misdemeanor, with a stricter punishment of up to 30 days in prison and a maximum $250 fine.

Is weed decriminalized in Ohio?

  • Yes, Ohio became the sixth US state to decriminalize simple possession of weed following a landmark bill signed by then Rep. Governor Jame Rhodes on August 22nd, 1975.
  • Section 2925.11 of Ohio’s Revised Code specifically states:
  • If the drug involved in the violation is marihuana or a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance containing marihuana other than hashish, whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of possession of marihuana. The penalty for the offense shall be determined as follows: (a) [For amounts under 100 grams] possession of marihuana is a minor misdemeanor.

Is delta-8 THC legal in Ohio?

  • Yes. Delta-8 is legal in Ohio but state officials want to restrict and regulate it under state law.
  • At the beginning of 2022, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP) filed proposed rule updates with the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review. These rule updates kick-started the Ohio legislature’s rule-review process.
  • One of the proposed rules seeks to update the definition of THC and place delta-8, delta-10, and all other THC isomers under the updated definition, meaning the state might treat each one as a controlled substance — even if derived from hemp.
  • Ohio previously regulated delta-8 in medical marijuana. The Ohio Department of Commerce released a set of regulations pertaining to the quantity, production, testing, and labeling of delta-8 in medical cannabis products:
    • No medical cannabis products can contain above 70% THC, delta-8, or any other THC isomer (combined).
    • The products must clearly be labeled with “Delta-8 THC” — abbreviations such as “D8”, “D8 THC”, or “Delta-8” are not permitted.
  • State-licensed cultivators, processors, and testing facilities must test for delta-8 and all other THC isomers and analogs.

Is growing weed legal in Ohio?

  • No. In most cases, growing weed is not legal in Ohio. Only state-licensed growers can produce medical marijuana for medicinal purposes. Caregivers for medical marijuana patients can also grow weed but only in limited quantities.
  • The punishments for illegally growing and cultivating weed are the same as possession. Growing up to 100 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum $150 fine. Growing between 100-200 grams of cannabis is punishable by up to 30 days in prison and a maximum $250 fine.

Conclusion

  • Ohio isn’t the worst place to get caught with weed. The state has decriminalized small quantities of recreational cannabis and legalized medical cannabis for those with a qualifying condition and subsequent medical cannabis card.
  • However, if you’re caught in possession of above the decriminalized quantity of cannabis and you’re not a legitimate medical marijuana patient, the penalties are quite harsh. Carrying anywhere between 200-1000 grams of cannabis is a felony punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of $2,500.

Ohio Marijuana Laws and Penalties

Ohio Laws and Penalties   
OffensePenaltyIncarcerationMax. Fine
Possession   
Less than 100 gMisdemeanorN/A$150
100 – 200 gMisdemeanor30 days$250
200 – 1,000 gFelony1 year$2,500
1,000 – 20,000 gFelony1 – 5 years$10,000
20,000 – 40,000 gFelony5* – 8 years$15,000
More than 40,000 gFelony8 years*$20,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence   
Sale/Distribution/Trafficking   
A gift of 20 g or less (first offense)MisdemeanorN/A$150
A gift of 20 g or less (second offense)Misdemeanor60 days$500
Less than 200 gFelony1 year$2,500
200 – 1,000 gFelony18 months$2,500
1,000 – 20,000 gFelony1 – 5 years$10,000
20,000 – 40,000 gFelony5* – 8 years$15,000
More than 40,000 gFelony8 years*$15,000
To a minor, within 1000 feet of a school, within 100 feet of a juvenile, or by one who has a previous drug conviction will increase the term of imprisonment and the fine.   
* Mandatory minimum sentence   
Hash & Concentrates   
Possession of less than 5g/1g (solid/liquid)MisdemeanorN/A$150
Possession of 5g/1g – 10g/2g (solid/liquid)Misdemeanor30 days$250
Possession of 10g/2g – 50g/10g (solid/liquid)Felony1 year$2,500
Possession of 50g/10g – 1,000g/200g (solid/liquid)Felony3 years$10,000
Possession of 1,000g/200g (solid/liquid) or moreFelony8 years$15,000
Selling less than 10g/2g (solid/liquid)Felony1 year$2,500
Selling 10g/2g – 50g/10g (solid/liquid)Felony18 months$5,000
Selling 50g/10g – 1,000g/200g (solid/liquid)Felony3 years$10,000
Selling 1,000g/200g (solid/liquid) or moreFelony8 years$15,000
ManufactureFelony8 years$15,000
Paraphernalia   
Possession of paraphernaliaMisdemeanorN/A$150
Sale of paraphernaliaMisdemeanor90 days$750
Miscellaneous   
Any drug conviction (including a paraphernalia conviction) may result in a driver’s license suspension for a period of 6 months – 5 years.   

Ohio Cannabis Tax Guide

  • Medical marijuana: Purchases are subject to statewide sales tax, which ranges between 6.5% and 7.25% depending on the county.

Ohio Cannabis Advertising and Marketing Guide

  1. Names, logos, signs and other advertisements must be approved by the state’s governing department. An advertisement with a high likelihood of reaching persons under the age of eighteen is prohibited.
  2. No advertising or marketing campaigns related to or involving cannabis may encourage, promote or otherwise create any impression cannabis is legal or acceptable to use in a manner except as specifically authorized or that recreational cannabis use has any potential health or therapeutic benefits or that recreational cannabis use or possession is somehow not illegal.
  3. No cultivator, processor or testing laboratory shall place or maintain or cause to be placed or maintained, an advertisement of cannabis or cannabis products, including paraphernalia, within five hundred feet of the perimeter of a prohibited facility, a game arcade where admission is not restricted to persons aged twenty-one years or older or a business where the placement of the advertisement targets or is attractive to children, as determined by the department; on a billboard; on a radio or television broadcast, including a system for transmitting visual images and sound that are reproduced on screens and includes broadcast, cable, on-demand, satellite or internet programming; on any handheld or other portable sign; with respect to public places, on a handbill, leaflet or flyer directly handed, deposited, fastened, thrown, scattered, cast or otherwise distributed to any person; left upon any private property without the consent of the property owners; on or in a vehicle, public transit vehicle or public transit shelter; or on or in a publicly-owned or operated property.
  4. Adverts must not contain any image bearing a resemblance to a cartoon character, a fictional character whose target audience is children or youth or pop culture icon. The ad may also not market, distribute, offer, sell, license or cause to be marketed, distributed, offered, sold or licensed, any apparel or other merchandise related to the sale of medical marijuana, to an individual under eighteen years of age.
  5. Advertising in a manner inconsistent with the medicinal and approved use of medical marijuana is not allowed, as well as the encouragement of use for a condition other than a qualifying medical condition. Statements, designs, representations, pictures or illustrations may not be false or misleading, may not depart from the medical marijuana registered name, including marijuana leaves, slang terms and similar references, be obscene or indecent or disparage a competitor’s products.
  6. A cultivator, processor or testing laboratory shall not display external signage not attached to the entity’s permanent structure which is larger than sixteen inches in height by eighteen inches in width. An illuminated sign advertising a medical marijuana product or strain is not allowed at any time, as well as the sale or distribution of clothing, apparel or wearable accessories.
  7. A dispensary shall not use a name, logo, sign or advertisement unless the name, logo, sign or advertisement has been submitted to the state board of pharmacy and the applicable advertising approval fee has been paid. Materials submitted to the board shall include, but are not limited to:
    • A brief description of the format, medium and length of the distribution;
    • Verification that an actual patient is not being used on the advertisement;
    • Verification that an official translation of a foreign language advertisement is accurate;
    • Annotated references to support statements related to effectiveness of treatment; and
    • A final copy of the advertisement, including a video where applicable, in a format acceptable to the board.
  8. No dispensary shall place or maintain, or cause to be placed or maintained, an advertisement of medical marijuana or medical marijuana products, including paraphernalia, in any form or through any medium:
    • Within five hundred feet of the perimeter of a prohibited facility, a community addiction services provider as defined under section 5119.01 of the Revised Code, a game arcade admission to which is not restricted to persons aged twenty-one years or older, or any other location where the placement of the advertisement targets or is attractive to children, as determined by the state board of pharmacy;
    • On a billboard;
    • On a radio or television broadcast;
      • A radio or television broadcast includes a system for transmitting sound alone or visual images and sound; and
      • Includes broadcast, cable, on-demand, satellite, or internet programming;
    • On any handheld or other portable sign;
    • With respect to public places, on a handbill, leaflet, or flyer directly handed, deposited, fastened, thrown, scattered, cast, or otherwise distributed to any person;
    • Left upon any private property without the consent of the property owners;
    • On or in a public transit vehicle or public transit shelter; or
    • On or in a publicly-owned or operated property.
  9. An advertisement for a dispensary, regardless of the medium, shall not:
    • Include any image bearing a resemblance to a cartoon character, fictional character whose target audience is children or youth, or pop culture icon;
    • Market, distribute, offer, sell, license or cause to be marketed, distributed, offered sold or licensed, any apparel or other merchandise related to the sale of marijuana, to an individual under eighteen years of age.
    • Contain any statement, design, representation, picture or illustration that is:
      • False or misleading;
  10. A departure from the medical marijuana registered name, including, marijuana leaves, slang terms, and similar references;
    • Disparaging to a competitors products;
    • Obscene or indecent; or
    • Related to the safety or efficacy of marijuana, unless supported by substantial evidence or substantial clinical data.
    • Suggest or otherwise indicate that the product or entity in the advertisement has been approved or endorsed by the department of commerce, the state board of pharmacy, the state of Ohio or any person or entity associated with the state of Ohio; or
    • Encourage the use of medical marijuana for a condition other than a qualifying medical condition.
  11. A dispensary may develop a website or otherwise establish a web presence advertising the name, business address, contact information, and services provided by a dispensary. A dispensary operating a website shall require age affirmation of at least eighteen years of age by the user before access to the website is granted. A dispensary that establishes any type of web presences shall not:
    • Allow for direct engagement between consumers or user-generated content or reviews;
    • Provide a medium for website users to transmit website content to individuals under the age of eighteen;
    • Display or otherwise post content that has not been submitted to the state board of pharmacy pursuant to paragraph (C) of this rule;
    • Facilitate sales transactions to any patient, caregiver, or medical marijuana entity;
    • Target a consumer audience under the age of eighteen; or
    • Maintain a web presence in violation of Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code or this division;
  12. A dispensary shall not:
    • Display external signage larger than sixteen inches in height by eighteen inches in width that is not attached to the entities permanent structure;
    • Illuminate a sign advertising medical marijuana at any time;
    • Sell or otherwise distribute clothing, apparel, or wearable accessories, unless such sale or distribution is to an employee for purposes of identification while working for the licensed entity;
    • Advertise medical marijuana brand names or use graphics related to medical marijuana on the exterior of the building in which the dispensary is operating; and
    • Display medical marijuana or paraphernalia that is visible from the exterior of the dispensary.
  13. No dispensary shall license or otherwise expressly authorize any third party to use or advertise in a manner prohibited by this division.
  14. This rule, as it pertains to advertisements, does not apply to a noncommercial message.

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