If you are an Ohio resident in need of medical marijuana, you are in luck. Resulting from the majority vote of House Bill 523, medical marijuana was legalized across the entire state of Ohio in 2016. However, due to conflict in the law, medical marijuana wasn’t even sold from licensed dispensaries until 2019.
Unfortunately, recreational marijuana is still considered highly illegal in the state of Ohio and there is no legislation to change that in the foreseeable future. Voters denied the act to legalize recreational marijuana in 2015 although it was just decriminalized in 2020. However, despite the decriminalization, Ohio’s police enforcement will fine and issue demeanors to people with 200 grams or less. More than 200 grams will warrant a felony, a $2,500 fine, and time in prison.
Despite the long wait to establish licensed medical marijuana retailers, the industry is in full effect as of today. Now, Ohio is home to around 50 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries legally serving patients with valid Ohio medical cards. Ohio, however, has not made any laws to allow for the delivery of marijuana but this could change in the future.
If you are a resident of Ohio, your only legal means of purchasing marijuana is to obtain a medical marijuana card and purchase herb through Ohio’s medical dispensaries. With over 50 locations around Ohio, finding a medical dispensary near you is just a click away. Obtaining a medical marijuana card in Ohio can be a little tricky, but your best bet is to check out this list of the 21 qualifying conditions and speak to your health care professional about using marijuana medicinally.
Since medical marijuana in Ohio is a relatively new program, there have not been many advances in the way the program operates. Therefore, buying medical marijuana in Ohio is very traditional and they do not allow for the delivery of marijuana products under any circumstances. If one cannot physically enter a store, then a licensed caregiver must purchase the marijuana on behalf of the patient.
Ohio has outlined a lengthy list of regulations that a dispensary must abide by and store hours are certainly one of them. Mandated by the government, a dispensary cannot operate before 7:00 a.m. and cannot stay open later than 9:00 p.m. While these are the strict rules, dispensaries may elect to do whatever they wish within this timeframe. In general, most dispensaries open between 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and close around 7:00 p.m. But don’t worry about finding the hours of operations - Ohio regulates that dispensaries must clearly state the hours of operations on every advertisement and to conspicuously post store hours at every entrance of the building.
Ohio has created very strange purchasing restrictions for medical patients which can be very frustrating. Unlike other states, Ohio actually has restrictions on how little marijuana one can purchase per day and then outlines how much they can purchase over a 90-day timeframe.
Ohio has also made things more difficult by placing marijuana into two tiers based on their THC content.
· Tier 1 is for flower that has a THC concentration of less than 23%.
· Tier 2 is for flower that has a THC concentration of 23% or more.
The MINIMUM amount of marijuana patients can purchase per day:
The MAXIMUM amount of marijuana patients can buy per 90 days:
As you may have gathered by now, Ohio is intensely regulatory about their medical marijuana products and purchase amounts, so here is the list of what products you can expect to purchase in Ohio:
As mentioned above, recreational marijuana is still illegal across the state of Ohio, therefore there is no distribution or taxation of it.
Marijuana taxes in Ohio are still yet to be fully determined as the distribution is so recent. Therefore, the legislation is still unclear about how to tax suppliers of marijuana (excise tax). However, medical marijuana patients must pay Ohio’s standard 5.75% sales tax upon purchase of any marijuana product.
Once again, due to the recency of medical marijuana in Ohio, many laws or regulations have not quite been established and this applies to possession limits. Ohio has implemented a limit to purchasing a certain amount of marijuana within 90 days to mitigate the overstock of marijuana, but for now, this is the only limit they have.
For non-medical patients possessing any amount of marijuana will result in a minor misdemeanor and a $150 fine. The more you hold, the worse the charges get and can result in a felony, massive fines and jail time. Therefore, if you are a non-medical patient, Ohio is not the state you want to get caught with marijuana.
Following a series of strange marijuana laws in Ohio, the strangest one is found in the fact that one cannot actually combust or ignite marijuana in Ohio. In other words, smoking out of bowls, joints or bongs is actually illegal under Ohio law! Instead, medical patients must vaporize or ingest THC in edible form. While this law is incredibly hard to enforce it is still technically illegal and confuses marijuana users to this day. Making it more confusing, you are still allowed to purchase flower, but you must buy a flower-safe vaporizer to consume marijuana in plant form. While the exact reason behind this got lost in politics, it is most likely due to the fact that doctors agree that smoking marijuana is not the healthiest way to consume weed and goes against the idea of it being medicine.
Areas in Ohio that DO allow the use of marijuana:
Areas in Ohio that DO NOT allow the use of marijuana:
Because marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, one is never allowed to consume or possess cannabis on any federal land or within close proximity. If you are caught smoking or ingesting marijuana on federal territory, you will be prosecuted under federal control.
Recreational marijuana is still strictly illegal in Ohio and only valid medical patients are allowed to consume cannabis within the state of Ohio. Ohio is a very strict state with the way they allow citizens to consume marijuana. Obtaining a medical card in Ohio can also be a bit tough as one must have a pre-approved condition and the consent of their doctor. Medical marijuana can also be tough to obtain as there are few dispensaries. Also, one must pay attention to the fact that marijuana cannot be ignited with a flame, but only consumed via oral ingestion or vaporization. Finally, Ohio only issues a 90-day supply of cannabis meaning if you buy 60 days’ worth of cannabis in a day, you only have 30 days’ worth of products to purchase for the remainder of the time period.
Obtaining a medical card in Ohio is a straightforward process but it can be convoluted and tougher to be approved than most states. Here are the steps to obtain an MMJ card:
Ohio has not established reciprocity with any other state meaning that only a valid Ohio MMJ card will in fact work in Ohio. There have been speculations to revisit this ruling soon, but as of now no other state citizen is allowed to purchase medical marijuana in Ohio.
State-licensed medical marijuana patients are legally allowed to transport marijuana in their cars within the state boundaries of Ohio. However, any marijuana product within the vehicle must be sealed and out of reach of the driver, including the glovebox. It is always best practice to store any marijuana in the car in the trunk or behind the backseat of the vehicle.
In any state, it is highly illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana as it is a big risk to you and other drivers on the road. As for Ohio, driving while high is penalized under the same scrutiny as driving while drunk. Therefore, you should always be smart and responsible when consuming marijuana and never be afraid to take advantage of public transportation or ride-sharing apps.
Since driving across state lines puts you into federal jurisdiction, crossing state lines is illegal on a federal level. While many states are working on legalizing driving across state boundaries, there have been no laws put in place as of now. Therefore, just like every other state, driving across Ohio state borders is illegal and will lead to federal penalties if caught.
Under Ohio law, personal cultivation of any kind is prohibited. Therefore, no matter your reason or your age, it is illegal to grow marijuana in your home. Medical marijuana users must purchase any of their marijuana products through state-licensed medical dispensaries while in Ohio.
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