Ohio Cannabis Legalization

Medical: Legal since October 2020 and operates separately from the recreational program.
Recreational: Legal for adults 21 and older since December 12, 2023. However, the legal framework is still evolving, with dispensaries expected to open later in 2024.

Current OH Cannabis Laws:

  • Possession: Adults 21+ can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower and 15 grams of concentrate. Public consumption remains prohibited.
  • Consumption: Allowed only in private residences (with consent from all occupants) or licensed businesses, including consumption lounges which are expected to open in the future.
  • Driving: Driving under the influence of cannabis is a DUI and carries strict penalties.
  • Sales: Licensed Ohio dispensaries will be able to sell recreational cannabis once they are established. Medical cannabis purchases occur through separate licensed dispensaries with different regulations and taxes.
  • New Developments in 2024:
    • Dispensary Licensing: The state is currently in the process of licensing dispensaries for recreational cannabis sales, with the first ones expected to open later in 2024.
    • Continued Regulatory Framework Development: The state regulatory agencies are still finalizing the rules and regulations for the recreational cannabis market.
    • Focus on Social Equity: Ohio is implementing initiatives to ensure diversity and inclusivity in the cannabis industry, including programs supporting licensing and business development for individuals from historically disadvantaged communities.

Cannabis Job Prospects in OH:

  • Emerging market with potential opportunities. With the recreational market still in its early stages, job opportunities are limited for now but are expected to grow as the market matures. Potential jobs include:
    • Cultivation and processing: Growing, trimming, and processing cannabis plants.
    • Retail operations: Sales, customer service, budtending (once dispensaries open).
    • Testing and manufacturing: Ensuring product quality and developing new cannabis products.
    • Marketing and advertising: Promoting cannabis brands and products within legal limits (once allowed).
    • Legal and compliance: Navigating the complex legal landscape and regulations.
    • Research and development: Studying the science and potential applications of cannabis.
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Ohio Cannabis FAQs:

What does the Division of Cannabis Control in Ohio do?

The Division of Cannabis Control in Ohio is responsible for:

Overseeing both medical and recreational cannabis:

  • Medical marijuana program: The Division oversees the existing Medical Marijuana Control Program, including licensing and regulating cultivators, processors, dispensaries, and testing laboratories. This includes processing applications, conducting inspections, and enforcing program regulations.
  • Adult-use program: The Division is responsible for setting up and implementing the new adult-use (recreational) cannabis program, which is scheduled to launch in January 2024. This includes developing regulations, issuing licenses, and overseeing all aspects of the recreational cannabis industry.

Key functions:

  • Licensing and regulation: The Division issues licenses to businesses involved in the cultivation, processing, testing, and sale of cannabis, both medical and recreational. They also develop and enforce regulations for these businesses to ensure compliance with state laws and consumer safety.
  • Testing and compliance: The Division oversees the testing of cannabis products to ensure they are safe and meet quality standards. They also investigate complaints and enforce regulations to ensure compliance by businesses and individuals.
  • Data collection and reporting: The Division collects and analyzes data on the cannabis industry, including sales, production, and consumption. This data is used to inform policy decisions and track the impact of legalization.
  • Public education and outreach: The Division provides education and outreach to the public about the laws and regulations regarding cannabis, both medical and recreational. This includes information about safety, responsible use, and the economic and social impacts of legalization.

Additional points:

How do I get obtain a medical cannabis card in Ohio?

Here’s the process for obtaining a medical cannabis card in Ohio:


  • Be at least 18 years old: You can legally obtain a card yourself at this age.
  • Have a qualifying medical condition: Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP) recognizes 23 qualifying conditions, including cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, PTSD, and Crohn’s disease. You can find the full list on the MMCP website: https://com.ohio.gov/divisions-and-programs/cannabis-control/.
  • Be a legal resident of Ohio: Provide proof of residency like a driver’s license or utility bill.


  1. Schedule an appointment with a certified physician: Visit the MMCP website to find a list of approved physicians: https://com.ohio.gov/divisions-and-programs/cannabis-control/. Discuss your medical condition and whether medical cannabis might be a suitable treatment option.
  2. Obtain a physician’s certification: If certified, the physician will submit your information and diagnosis to the MMCP’s Patient & Caregiver Registry. You’ll receive an email with instructions to create an account and submit your application.
  3. Complete the online application: This involves providing personal information, uploading documentation, and paying the $40 application fee.
  4. Wait for processing: The MMCP typically processes applications within 30-45 days. You can check your application status online.
  5. Receive your card: If approved, you’ll receive your medical marijuana card in the mail.

Additional points:

  • You can also register a caregiver (over 21 years old) to assist you with obtaining and using medical cannabis.
  • The MMCP website has detailed information on the entire process, including FAQs and a step-by-step guide: https://com.ohio.gov/divisions-and-programs/cannabis-control/.
  • Consider contacting a patient advocacy group or cannabis clinic for assistance navigating the process.


Remember, this information is for general knowledge and doesn’t constitute medical advice. Please consult your doctor about your specific needs and suitability for medical cannabis treatment.

Is Cannabidiol (CBD) Legal in Ohio?

Yes, CBD oil is legal in Ohio as long as it meets the following criteria:

  • Derived from hemp: It must be derived from hemp plants with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of 0.3% or less.
  • Sold by licensed retailers: Retailers need to be licensed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture to sell hemp and hemp products.
  • Accurately labeled: The packaging must clearly indicate the THC content and other relevant information like serving size.

Important points:

  • Marijuana-derived CBD: THC content exceeding 0.3% classifies the product as marijuana, which remains illegal in Ohio except for registered medical marijuana patients.
  • Food and drugs: The FDA has not approved CBD for use in food or dietary supplements, so products containing CBD may not be labeled as such.
  • Local regulations: Some cities and counties have additional regulations regarding the sale of CBD products.


While the federal government legalized hemp-derived CBD with the 2018 Farm Bill, individual states can still set their own regulations.

  • Important Note:
    • Ohio’s cannabis laws are still evolving, and regulations may change. Staying updated on the latest information is crucial for anyone seeking employment or business opportunities in this sector.
    • It is important to remember that possessing, consuming, or selling cannabis outside of the legal framework remains illegal in Ohio and can carry significant penalties.

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