Medical Marijuana Legalization in Ohio
In November 2023, Ohio passed Issue 2, which allows residents of Ohio to purchase, consume, and grow adult-use cannabis. Starting December 7 2023, Ohioans 21 and older can possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and 15 grams of extracts. However, purchase of adult-use cannabis likely won’t begin until summer of 2024.
In 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 523 into law, legalizing the use of medical cannabis across the state of Ohio.
The system became fully operational in early 2019 and is overseen by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, which developed rules for cultivators, patients, and caretakers. This program—alongside the state medical board and the Ohio Board of Pharmacy—determined 22 medical conditions that qualify medical marijuana patients.
Smoking cannabis is prohibited in Ohio’s medical marijuana program. The law permits cannabis ingestion only in the form of edibles, oils, vaporizing, concentrates, topicals, and tinctures.
Cannabis is illegal for recreational use in the U.S. state of Ohio, but ownership of up to 100 grams is decriminalized.
Marijuana Dispensaries and Cultivators
Though there are over 57 medical cannabis dispensaries throughout the state and 700 certified doctors to qualify patients, the cost of medical cannabis (manufactured by 33 cultivators) remains too expensive for a large portion of the more than 125,000 registered patients. The medical cannabis industry has also been tempered by many laws since its passing four years ago, with several setting parameters for cultivating, prescribing, and selling to patients,” reports WCPO, a local ABC station.
With up to 1,000 new medical cannabis cardholders approved monthly in 2020, Ohio will have to continue to serve citizens better based on news reports that the drug they need is too expensive to buy. For now, Ohio residents are reportedly traveling to Michigan to get medical cannabis. The Columbus Dispatch reports the news source receives constant citizen complaints, causing them to cross the border.
“Ohio marijuana cardholders have repeatedly told The Dispatch, both on the record and in private, that they travel to dispensaries north of the state line to save money,” reported the Columbus Dispatch in September 2020. Patients consistently list price as one of the biggest obstacles to buying the drug in Ohio.
In the meanwhile, Ohio has decriminalized small amounts of cannabis when found on a person, and law enforcement is no longer charging citizens with any criminal offense. Rather, these consumers are charged a monetary fine.
Surely continued medical cannabis legalization in other states will have Ohio considering recreational use, as it did medicinally. It is only a matter of time.
Qualifying Conditions for an Ohio Medical Marijuana Card
By Ohio law, medical cannabis can be used to treat 22 qualifying conditions:
Requirements to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio
A patient who is at least 18 years old and has one or more of the qualifying conditions, must be able to prove they are an Ohio resident by providing a valid state driver’s license or identification card. The patient must also pay a $50 annual card registration fee. Any follow-up visits to renew your registration can be done through our online on-demand platform.
Becoming a Caregiver in Ohio
Ohio’s caregiver laws are straightforward, beginning with the patient assistant being at least 21 years old and able to prove their Ohio residency with a valid driver’s license or state identification card. The caregiver, who must be listed on the patient certification, must also pay a $50 annual card registration fee. Ohio caregivers can only care for two patients at a time per law.
Registration of a patient or caregiver will be valid from the date of issue and will expire one year later, the last day of the month it was given. The patient’s registration expires after six months if the patient is diagnosed as terminally ill.
Possession & Cultivation Limits
Unlike most states, Ohio has a tiered possession limit, allowing a certain amount of THC-infused cannabis products to a patient depending on the condition they have. A tier I medical cannabis cardholder can possess up to 8 ounces of THC that tests at 23% or less; and a tier II medical cannabis cardholder can have up to 5.3 ounces of THC that test above 23%, but not higher than 35%.
Certain types of products in Ohio are only allowed to have so much THC. While patches, lotions, creams, and additional topics can not exceed 26-55 grams of THC, cannabis oil, tincture, capsules, and all other edibles can not exceed 9.9 grams of THC. Up to 53.1 grams of THC is allowable specifically for oil that is to be vaporized.
Ohio residents can begin cultivating cannabis at home for personal use in December 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Ohio. The state’s medical program took effect after House Bill 523 was signed into law in 2016.
In applying for a medical marijuana card, one must provide the following:
Date of Birth
Ohio Address (Must be a resident)
Valid ID (Must be an Ohio ID)
Must be 18 Years of age or older*
*If you’re under 18 you’ll need a statement that indicates your age and residency, the consent of a parent or guardian and minors are required to have an adult caregiver.
You can book an appointment with a doctor in the Veriheal network of Ohio physicians to review your ailments and medical condition. Once you’re evaluated and approved, you’ll receive a medical cannabis recommendation from Veriheal’s licensed OH doctor and be registered with the state.
The initial consultation and medical evaluations can take 10 – 15 minutes. However, the entire process to be approved, receive your medical cannabis card and register with the state of Ohio can take at minimum 2 – 3 weeks. Afterward you’re able to visit any Ohio dispensary. If for some reason you’re not approved you will receive a full refund. However, we currently have a 99% approval rate.
Ohio law lists 22 qualifying conditions for medical cannabis:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
- Crohn’s Disease
- Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Intractable Pain
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Chronic Pain
- Spinal Cord Disease or Injury
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Ulcerative Colitis
In Ohio, physicians must have a CTR (Certificate to Recommend) from the State Medical Board of Ohio and it must be currently active. For your convenience, we provide you a physician so you do not need to go through your primary care doctor.
Your complete medical evaluation, consultation with a licensed OH practitioner and an authorized certification for medical marijuana purchases will cost $199. If you would like to sign up with a friend or family member there’s a discount that makes the price $379 for both of you. There is also an additional state fee of $50 to submit the state application.
No, Ohio’s medical laws prohibit cannabis consumption by smoking. Raw plant material can be purchased for vaping, however.
Ohio has one of the most diverse medical marijuana programs, allowing all patients access to a variety of medical cannabis options. If you get your cannabis card in Ohio, you get access to dry flower (for vaporized use only), tinctures, extracts and concentrates, topicals, and edibles
Medical cannabis patients may purchase 2.83 grams (or one-tenth of an oz) of plant material. These patients can possess up to a 90-day supply of medical cannabis as determined by a physician.
No, you cannot enter a medical cannabis dispensary in Ohio without a valid medical cannabis card.