ohio cannabis laws

6 min read

Cannabis Laws in Ohio

September 5, 2022

Ohio is a state with quite strict laws and restrictions when it comes to the cannabis business. Possession and cultivation of marijuana are under harsh control by federal law. The enhanced demand for cannabis made its legal status in constant flux. 

Marijuana is still illegal based on federal law, but many states, including Ohio, have legalized the medical use of marijuana, and some have legalized recreational marijuana. As to Ohio, the legalization of recreational marijuana is under discussion at this stage, with the deadline to take effect in 2023.

Ohio cannabis laws have changed significantly over the past decade in a more tolerant way. Attempts to decriminalize marijuana possession at the local level in cities of Ohio have been met with success. More and more Ohio residents believe that marijuana should be legal for adults and they support the adoption of a reasonable legalization system. 

Medical Cannabis Laws in Ohio 

Marijuana for medical use is governed under Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program. In order to legally purchase medical marijuana, 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.

Here we will provide you with the basics of medical cannabis laws to clarify how it works in Ohio

A Patient Qualifying Conditions Only

Medical marijuana is permitted only for patients who are prescribed medical cannabis by a doctor for treatment of qualifying conditions listed below: 

Cancer, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, chronic or severe pain, CTE, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, HIV / AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy/seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s, and ulcerative colitis.

Prescriptions By State Approved Doctors Only

Only doctors authorized by the State Board of Ohio are allowed to recommend medical marijuana. They must review patients’ prescriptions over the past month and discuss the risks and benefits of treating their conditions with cannabis. As of March 2019, nearly 450 physicians were allowed to make these recommendations.

Registration Process

Medical marijuana patients and caregivers must be authorized to purchase, possess, and use medical cannabis by the State Board of Pharmacy. Authorized patients and caregivers are given registry cards and photo IDs, which they must have to purchase cannabis at a licensed Ohio dispensary. They are valid for one year. 

Quantity, Legal Amounts & Possession

Ohio patients and caregivers are allowed to possess up to a 90-day supply of medical cannabis. Based on state law, for a patient who purchases a 30-day supply from their first dispensary, the next purchase would be limited to no more than a 60-day supply of medical marijuana unless 90 days after the initial purchase pass. 

Laws on Marijuana Possession in Ohio

Ohio has decriminalized possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana. Violations are considered minor misdemeanors, which incur a $150 fine but no jail time, and do not become part of the defendant’s criminal record.

Possession of 100 and 200 grams (or five and ten grams of solid hashish or one and two grams of liquid hashish) is a fourth-degree misdemeanor, and penalties include a fine of up to $250, up to 30 days in jail, or both.

Possession between 200 and 1,000 grams (or ten and 50 grams of solid hashish or two and ten grams of liquid hashish) is a fifth-degree felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.

Possession between 1,000 and 20,000 grams (or 50 and 1,000 grams of solid hashish or ten and 200 grams of liquid hashish) is a third-degree felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both.

Possession between 20,000 and 40,000 grams (or 1,000 and 2,000 grams of solid hashish or 200 and 400 grams of liquid hashish) is a second-degree felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $15,000, between five and eight years in prison, or both.

Possession of 40,000 grams or more (or 2,000 grams or more of solid hashish or 400 grams or more of liquid hashish) is a second-degree felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $20,000, at least eight years in prison, or both.

Laws on Marijuana Cultivation in Ohio

It is illegal to cultivate marijuana in Ohio. Penalties vary according to the amount cultivated, with increased penalties for second or subsequent offenses and cultivation within 1,000 feet of a school or 100 feet of a child.

Cultivation of 100 grams is considered a minor misdemeanor, which incurs a $150 fine but no jail time and does not become part of the defendant’s criminal record.

Cultivation between 100 and 200 grams is a fourth-degree misdemeanor, and penalties include a fine of up to $250, up to 30 days in jail, or both.

Cultivation between 200 and 1,000 grams is a fifth-degree felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.

Cultivation between 1,000 and 20,000 grams is a third-degree felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both.

Cultivation between 20,000 and 40,000 grams is a second-degree felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $15,000, five to eight years in prison, or both.

Cultivation of 40,000 grams or more is a second-degree felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $20,000, at least eight years in prison, or both.

Marijuana Trafficking in Ohio

In Ohio, someone who sells marijuana or prepares marijuana for shipment, ships, or transports marijuana for distribution, is guilty of trafficking. Penalties vary according to the amount trafficked, with increased fines and jail time for trafficking with children present or near a school.

Ohio has decriminalized giving someone up to 20 grams of marijuana. Violations are considered minor misdemeanors, which incur a $150 fine but no jail time, and do not become part of the defendant’s criminal record.

Selling Up to 200 grams (or up to ten grams of solid hashish or up to two grams of liquid hashish) is a fifth-degree felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.

Selling between 200 and 1,000 grams (or ten and 50 grams of solid hashish or two and ten grams of liquid hashish) is a fourth-degree felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, up to eighteen months in prison, or both.

Selling between 1,000 and 20,000 grams (or 50 and 1,000 grams of solid hashish or ten and 200 grams of liquid hashish)is a third-degree felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both.

Selling between 20,000 and 40,000 grams (or 1,000 and 2,000 grams of solid hashish or 200 and 400 grams of liquid hashish) is a second-degree felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $15,000, between five and eight years in prison, or both.

Selling 40,000 grams or more (or 2,000 grams or more of solid hashish or 400 grams or more of liquid hashish) is a second-degree felony, and penalties include a fine of up to $20,000, at least eight years in prison, or both.

Disclaimer 

We want to remind you that this guideline regarding Ohio cannabis laws is more of legal advice in character. The rules and regulations in Ohio do differ from other states, and they update constantly. Moreover, you must be attentive and careful if you decide to become a part of the cannabis business in Ohio.

However, we hope we have created a clear impression of where the cannabis laws stand in Ohio and what necessary measures you must take to prepare for the new enterprise.