Ohio Medical Marijuana Law

Ohioans with qualifying medical conditions can obtain medical marijuana cards by joining the state’s registry. Cardholders are protected from state laws on marijuana possession thanks to their status as patients. The state of Ohio’s medical marijuana program has rigorous qualifications and tight regulations. Recreational cannabis remains illegal, making it vital that eligible medical marijuana patients obey the laws laid out by the state’s medical marijuana program.

If you suffer from a debilitating health condition such as ulcerative colitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, sickle cell anemia, Crohn’s disease, seizure disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), hepatitis C, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Alzheimer’s disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or a traumatic brain injury, you may be able to treat your symptoms and improve your quality of life with the use of medical marijuana.

This article will cover the specifics of Ohio's medical marijuana laws, details the issues likely to impact patients, and discusses common questions individuals should consider if they plan to enroll as a patient.

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Ohio Medical Marijuana Law History

Ohio physicians and patient advocates began campaigning for medical marijuana reform during the 1990s. By the late 2010s, momentum grew and a ballot initiative seemed imminent.

In response to patient demand, Ohio lawmakers passed the state’s first medical marijuana legislation in 2016 under Governor John Kasich. The program established legal exemptions from certain marijuana possession laws for patients who obtain clearance from the state to manage their symptoms with cannabis.

The government began assembling the regulatory apparatus, overseeing agencies, and an effective program to manage patient eligibility and access. The first sale was transacted in 2019. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program oversees patients, doctors, and dispensaries to ensure safety, access, and accountability.

The state set a cap of 56 dispensaries, which are licensed and regulated. The government established a list of qualifying conditions and set cultivation and manufacturing standards to ensure patient access to safe and medical-grade cannabis.

Ohio prohibits employment discrimination based on an individual's registry status. Medical marijuana cardholders cannot have their status used against them in child custody hearings either. Today, over 270,000 Ohio residents are on the registry.

Marijuana Possession Laws in Ohio

Registered patients can possess a maximum of a 90-day supply of medical cannabis products, regardless of the form. You can only possess medical marijuana purchased for yourself from a registered dispensary. Ohio breaks your purchase window into two 45-day periods. You can purchase as much or as little of your 45-day supply as you want.

Without a medical card, possession of even less than 100 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense punished with a $150 fine. More than 200 grams is a felony.

Ohio Public Consumption Laws

Public consumption is illegal in Ohio. You can only consume or use your medical marijuana in private settings. Due to the federal prohibition on cannabis, you cannot use cannabis in national parks, federal buildings like courthouses, or federally subsidized housing.

If you have medical cannabis on your person, be sure to carry your medical marijuana card.

Ohio Cannabis DUI Laws

Ohio considers operating a vehicle while intoxicated with marijuana a drugged driving charge. The state has implied consent, meaning you submit to testing when you drive. The legal limit for THC is 10 ng/ml for urine and 2 ng/ml for blood.

Law enforcement officers are empowered to detain individuals when they suspect impaired driving. When using medical marijuana to manage your symptoms, plan alternative modes of transportation.

Applying for A Ohio Medical Marijuana Card?

The first step to obtaining a medical marijuana card is to consult a doctor certified to recommend it. Physicians are not required to issue marijuana recommendations, so your primary care provider may be unable to assist you. The medical marijuana consultation visit can be in-person or completed using telemedicine.

Your doctor will review a copy of your Ohio driver's license or another approved form of ID to prove your identity and Ohio residency. Once they confirm you have a qualifying medical condition, they will register you with the state. You will then receive an email invitation to complete the registry enrollment.

After completing the online application, you must pay your $50 registration fee. Upon approval, your medical marijuana card can be immediately downloaded and printed from your registry profile page. You can then visit any dispensary in the state.

The Sanctuary can guide you through each step of the registration process. First, we will connect you with an Ohio physician who will assess your condition, answer questions about medical marijuana, and issue your recommendation.

Then, our experienced team will advise you on each step of the online registration and application process. Promptly submitting a complete application will help you get your medical marijuana card from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy as quickly as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Recreational marijuana remains illegal statewide, though some localities have decriminalized low-level possession. However, in most of Ohio, possession of even small amounts of marijuana is a misdemeanor punished by fines. The minimum penalties progressively increase for repeat offenders.

As a cardholder, you can purchase oils, tinctures, plant material, edibles, drinks, lotions, creams, and patches. Under Ohio law, you cannot smoke cannabis via combustion, but vaping is permitted. The state also bars dispensaries from selling any form of marijuana that may be attractive to children.

You can only legally buy and possess cannabis from a licensed Ohio dispensary. Any other marijuana is illegal, even with a card. You cannot possess another patient's medical marijuana.

You can only possess a maximum of a 90-day supply. Ohio limits you to two 45-day purchase windows within each 90-day period.

You can purchase as many different forms of medical marijuana as you want as long as the sum does not exceed a 90-day supply. The dispensary tracks your purchases to ensure you comply with the maximum limit.

The state uses Whole Day Units to calculate your purchase. Per the guidelines, one day of marijuana equals:

1. 1/10 oz (2.83 g) of dried flower or plant material
2. 295 mg of THC content in patches, lotions, creams, or ointments
3. 110 mg of THC content in oil, tincture, capsule, or edible form for oral administration
4. 590 mg of THC content in medical marijuana oil for vaporization.

No. Ohio dispensaries will not sell to you if you present an out-of-state card, nor do you enjoy the legal protections granted to Ohio cardholders.

If you travel to the state, do not bring your medical marijuana. It remains illegal to cross state lines with cannabis.

Yes. Ohio does not conduct a background check as part of the application process. As long as you obtain a certification from an authorized doctor and complete the application, you can get a medical marijuana card despite a felony conviction.