Updated July 2019
After a slew of unsuccessful attempts, the state of Ohio finally improved its marijuana policies in 2016 by passing comprehensive medical marijuana legislation. Recreational marijuana continues to be illegal in Ohio.
Recreational Marijuana Laws in Ohio
Recreational marijuana is currently illegal in Ohio. The small bright spot in Ohio’s marijuana policy is that the possession of less than 100 grams in punishable as a minor misdemeanor and subject to only a $150 fine. In Ohio, minor misdemeanors do not become part of a person’s criminal record. Possession of greater quantities, however, is still a standard misdemeanor or felony, which can be punished by fines of $250 to $20,000, and 30 day to 8-year prison terms.
Additionally, in November 2016, voters in four Ohio cities — Newark, Bellaire, Logan and Roseville — passed a measure to eliminate all criminal penalties and remove driver’s license suspensions associated with the possession of less than 200 grams.
State lawmakers are working to present a recreational marijuana referendum on the November 2019 ballot, pending review by state officials. The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative would allow establish a legal marijuana marketplace and permit adults 21 and older to buy and possess marijuana.
Medical Marijuana Laws in Ohio
Ohio became the 25th U.S. state to legalize medical marijuana after Gov. John Kasich House Bill 523 into law in June 2016. Under the law, patients with a recommendation from a Ohio-licensed doctor are allowed cannabis plant material, edibles, patches, oils and tinctures. The law, however, prohibits smokable marijuana products and home cultivation.
The law took effect September 6, 2016. However, the state is still in the process of setting up growers and dispensaries. Ohio’s medical marijuana patient registry opened on December 3, 2018. and cannabis should be available to purchase from dispensaries before February 1, 2019. Until then, lawmakers are allowing patients to travel to Michigan or other nearby legal states to purchase marijuana and carry it back across state lines.
The following conditions are approved for medical marijuana prescription in the state:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Epilepsy and other Seizures Disorders
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Pain (Chronic, Severe or Intractable)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Spinal Cord Disease or Injury
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Ulcerative Colitis
CBD Hemp Oil in Ohio
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.
Cultivation of Cannabis in Ohio
Ohio’s law prohibits cultivating marijuana plants for personal or medical use and it is punished as possession.
Hemp can be grown in Ohio by licensed growers. In July 2019, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill that decriminalized hemp and hemp CBD products, paving the way for the development of a new hemp industry in the state. Senate Bill 57 allows Ohio farmers and university researchers to grow hemp and also legalizes the sale of hemp CBD oil. The hemp program will be overseen by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
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