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In 2016, Ohio implemented statute HB523, legalizing medical marijuana for approved patients. This legislation allows anyone over the age of 18 with qualifying health conditions to apply for a medical marijuana card through the state. Though Ohio is currently debating potential new legislation for cannabis use in the state, the laws that were put in place back in 2016 have persisted without much change.
Many of the regulations currently in place are unique to Ohio’s medical marijuana program. For example, medical cannabis laws in Ohio prohibit the combustion of the cannabis flower itself and allow only a certain volume of marijuana products to be purchased over a specified timeframe. That’s why it is important to know the rules regarding medical cannabis use, especially if you are new to medical marijuana or are a patient who recently moved to the state.
In order to get a medical marijuana card in Ohio, you must ensure you meet certain requirements before applying.
When applying for a medical marijuana card as a patient, you must be at least 18 years or older. If you are under the age requirement, you are legally not allowed to apply. If you are applying for a medical marijuana card as a caregiver, then you must be at least 21.
If you are of approved age, your first step will be to find an approved physician that can validate your health conditions or issues. Once you find a doctor that is certified by Ohio’s medical marijuana program and have your health conditions verified, they will create a profile for you within the state’s patient registry.
Next, you will receive your account information, enabling you to complete your registration. After logging onto your account, you will have to pay a fee of $50 to finalize your registration and activate your medical marijuana card. (Note: some patients, including veterans, may qualify for a reduced registration fee.) After you are finished registering, you will receive a physical copy of your medical marijuana card in the mail.
The state of Ohio currently recognizes over 20 different conditions that qualify for the medical marijuana program.
Yes—In Ohio, you can apply to be a caregiver via the same registration process that is used for patients.
First, the patient in question must visit a certified physician that approves them for medical marijuana program qualification due to certain health conditions. From there, the patient can select up to two caregivers to assist them with tasks including purchasing the cannabis from dispensaries and helping to transport it.
In order to qualify to be a caregiver for a patient approved for the medical marijuana program in Ohio, you must:
Every medical marijuana state has different restrictions regarding how much cannabis you can purchase or keep on your person. In Ohio, legislators have set allotment laws that impose supply limits for medical marijuana patients. The legislation regarding Ohio’s supply limits was updated in April of 2020, splitting the initial 90-day supply recommendation into two 45-day fill periods.
Now, according to Ohio law, patients are allowed to make as many purchases as they want within a 45-day period until they have reached the volume limit for that period. Once they have purchased their limit, the patient must wait until the 45-day-period is over and the next one begins before they can purchase cannabis again. If the patient does not purchase their 45-day fill allotment before the end of the period, it will not roll over into the next period. The legal limit for the full 90-day supply period has not changed and depends on your diagnosis, your doctor’s recommendation, and the type of product you purchase (flower, tinctures, topicals, oils, etc.).
If you are ever confused regarding your personal supply limits, you can always ask your certified practitioner or Wellness Advisors at your local dispensary for help.
As the laws in states across the country continue to change, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with medical marijuana rules and regulations in your own state. You can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about medical cannabis use in the state of Ohio below:
As of now, only medical marijuana is legal in Ohio. Adult-use cannabis for recreational purposes is still against Ohio law and can result in a fine or even jail time. However, possession of up to 100 grams has been decriminalized, with some cities enacting further decriminalization. Cannabis can be legally purchased by anyone over the age of 18 with an active medical marijuana card at any official medical dispensary.
Yes. Because recreational cannabis use is against the law, in order to partake in marijuana consumption in Ohio legally, you must have an active medical marijuana card.
Yes, once you apply for a medical marijuana card, receive your account information, and complete your registry online, you must pay a fee of $50 to finalize your medical marijuana registration. However, if you are a veteran or an indigenous person, you may be eligible for a reduced fee of $25.
Yes. If you want to be a part of the medical marijuana program in Ohio, you are required to register online through the state. A patient cannot finalize and activate a medical marijuana card without registering using the information given to them by their physician.
Overall, the process will likely take about three weeks. Though the visit with an approved doctor will take a matter of minutes, you must wait for approval and finalize your registration for your medical marijuana card in Ohio. Then, the physical copy of your card will be sent to your mailing address. This can take anywhere from 7 to 14 days, making your wait time between two and three weeks.
A patient’s Ohio medical marijuana card will expire a year from the day it was registered and became active. Medical marijuana registration must be renewed annually, otherwise it will become invalid. The patient must also visit their certified practitioner to re-validate their health qualifications and renew their medical marijuana card.
Not every physician is qualified to approve patients for the medical marijuana program in Ohio. Because of this, patients and caregivers need to make sure they find certified doctors that can help them. This map was created by the State Medical Board of Ohio to help potential patients and caregivers find a certified practitioner in their area.
Medical cannabis can be legally purchased only at licensed retail dispensaries that are approved by the Board of Pharmacy. Of course, only medical marijuana card holders and their approved caregivers in the state of Ohio may make purchases at medical dispensaries.
Dispensaries in Ohio offer multiple different forms of cannabis for patients:
Yes. Because it is illegal to combust the actual flower from the cannabis plant, many people are under the impression that Ohio dispensaries do not sell any flower. This is untrue. Ohio dispensaries sell multiple forms of cannabis products, including flower. However, flower and other plant materials must be vaporized.
Any public cannabis use in Ohio is against the law, regardless of whether it occurs for medical purposes or not. Medical marijuana should be consumed on private property, preferably within the patient’s home or with the consent of another homeowner. Rules regarding properties owned by others, including dwellings on college campuses and the like, may further influence consumption.
Patients cannot legally grow cannabis plants in Ohio. The current legislation in place prohibits the growing of marijuana for any private or household use, whether it is medical or not.
No. This concept, usually referred to as reciprocity, is the act of one state accepting a medical marijuana card from another state and acknowledging its validity. Currently, reciprocity is not practiced in the state of Ohio.
In Ohio, a patient is allowed a 45-day fill of cannabis products, meaning that they can only purchase half of their 90-day supply within a 45-day period. A 90-day supply can include a combination of any of the approved forms of marijuana but must not exceed the total 90-day allotment.
The maximum supply cannot exceed:
Keep in mind that special supply limits may apply to certain terminal patients.
Yes. As the cannabis industry continues to grow across the country, there has been a massive push for increased testing and regulations on the cannabis products that are being sold. Ohio requires any company attempting to sell cannabis products to have them tested in a state-approved lab for:
Yes, edibles sold in Ohio must undergo testing and regulation like any other cannabis products. In addition, they cannot be created or sold in a way that would seem appetizing to a child. As mentioned in the purchase limits above, Ohio regulates the sale of edibles as it pertains to their total THC content, not the volume of the food or oils that host it.
No. Both state and federal law prohibit healthcare professionals, dispensaries, and other entities from sharing confidential information about a patient. They cannot make your medical card registry public information. Because of this, your medical marijuana registration will most likely not appear in a background check.
Under specific circumstances, yes. The patient must have a qualifying health condition listed above and seek approval by a certified physician as well as the state. A parent or guardian must supply consent and either act as an adult caregiver or appoint an official caregiver to administer medical cannabis.
Because medical marijuana is not legally allowed in public, the only time cannabis should be in a patient’s vehicle is if they are transporting it. A prime example of acceptable transport is from the dispensary to the patient’s residence. The state of Ohio recommends that you try to limit traveling with any cannabis and reminds all medical cannabis users that the state’s DUI laws remain in place.