Ohio Cannabis Laws + Possession Limits

by Kat Austin December 21, 2023 5 min read

Ohio Cannabis Laws + Possession Limits - Vida Optima™

Ohio's cannabis legislation has witnessed substantial changes, moving away from rigid prohibition to embrace medical cannabis and, more recently, recreational use. While grasping these laws might seem intricate, let's explore Ohio's evolving cannabis regulations. 

We'll explore possession limits, cultivation rules, penalties, and the procedures surrounding the procurement and distribution of medical marijuana. Join us as we uncover the evolving landscape of Ohio's cannabis laws.

Table of Contents
Is Cannabis Legal in Ohio?
Ohio Cannabis Laws
Penalties for Marijuana-Related Crimes
Where to Buy Cannabis Online

Key Takeaways

  • Cannabis is newly legalized for recreational use in Ohio, but the regulations are still being adjusted. 
  • Final possession limits should be set and sales will begin in late 2024. 
  • There are penalties for possessing more than the allowable amount of cannabis, for unlicensed sales, and for consuming in public spaces. 

Is Cannabis Legal in Ohio?

Cannabis flower and concentrate, two forms of cannabis that may be available in Ohio's legal cannabis market.

Ohio recently approved Issue 2 which allows adults aged 21 to buy, possess, and cultivate marijuana. The products will carry a 10% tax, alongside the state sales tax.  As of now, legislators retain the power to modify these regulations, and legal cannabis sales are unlikely to begin before late 2024. 

In Ohio, medical marijuana is lawful, regulated through the state's Medical Marijuana Control Program. Patients with specific qualifying conditions can access medical marijuana in various forms, like creams, edibles, flowers, lotions, oils, patches, and tinctures. 

Here's the process to use medical marijuana legally:

  1. Consult a certified physician with an active recommendation certificate for medical marijuana. The doctor verifies your qualifying medical condition and creates your profile in Ohio's medical marijuana patient and caregiver registry.
  2. Complete your enrollment in the medical marijuana program through the patient and caregiver registry.
  3. Visit a licensed dispensary authorized by the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy to access medical marijuana.

Regulations for Adult Use

Regulations for adult use cannabis are still being modified, but this is what we know now:

  • According to the original law as written, adults 21 years and older can legally possess  up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower and 15 grams of extract.
  • There are currently no authorized sellers. The Division of Cannabis Control will begin taking retailer applications in June of 2024, so legal sales will start sometime after. 
  • Cannabis is unlikely to be available through online sales. 
  • Employers will still be able to test for cannabis. 
  • Cultivation is allowed for Ohio residents aged 21 and over. Adults can grow up to 6 plants, or a dozen plants for a household with two or more adults. Cannabis must be grown in a private space that is locked away from those under the age of 21. 
  • Cannabis can be consumed in private spaces. 

Regulations for Medical Use

  • Patients in Ohio have specific daily and 90-day purchase limits for different forms of medical marijuana. 
  • On a daily basis, a patient can purchase quantities ranging from 2.83 grams of plant material to varying THC levels in patches, lotions, creams, or oils for oral administration or vaporization. 
  • For a 90-day period, patients fall under different tiers: Tier 1 and Tier 2.
    • Tier 1 allows limits like 8 to 10 ounces of plant material and specific THC content limits in various forms, including patches, lotions, oils, and concentrated oils. 
    • Tier 2 permits slightly lower limits, such as 5 and 3/10 to 6 and 6/10 ounces of plant material and reduced THC content across different administration methods.
    • These limits differ based on whether the patient has a terminal illness, adjusting the amounts they're allowed to purchase within the 90-day period.
  • Patients can qualify for medical cannabis if aged 18-21.
  • Patients can qualify for medical marijuana if under age 18 with a parent or guardian’s consent. A guardian must be established for purchasing and administering cannabis products. 
  • Patients can consume cannabis in a private residence or approved medical facility. 

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis in Ohio

The qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Ohio include:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Cachexia, wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain (Severe/Intractable)
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
  • Epilepsy (Seizures)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • Huntington's Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Spasticity
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Terminal Illness
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Ohio Cannabis Laws

  • HB-523 and Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program:Enacted in 2016, HB-523 established the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, permitting patients with qualifying medical conditions to access medical cannabis based on certified physician recommendations. Patients must apply for a medical marijuana card through the program.
  • Senate Bill 204:Enacted in 2016, alters the penalty of driver's license suspension for a marijuana violation from mandatory to discretionary.
  • House Bill 168:This bill, introduced by state representatives in May 2023, suggests possession limits, home cultivation, and the expungement of minor cannabis possession charges for adults aged 21 or older if enacted into law.
  • Senate Bill 261: Revises the original medical law to add arthritis, migraines, autism spectrum disorder, chronic muscle spasm, terminal illness, and opioid use disorder to the qualifying medical conditions. The act also establishes the Division of Marijuana Control in the Department of Commerce. 
  • Ohio Recreational Marijuana Law (Issue 2):This initiative allowed adults aged 21 and above in Ohio to legally possess, grow, process, and purchase recreational marijuana. It permitted possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and 15 grams of concentrates. Individuals could grow up to six plants at home, with households allowed up to 12 plants collectively.

Penalties for Marijuana-related Crimes in Ohio

Cannabis is legal within specified possession limits. However, there are still some penalties for marijuana-related offenses in Ohio, including:

Possession Penalties:

  • Possession of up to 70 grams:  legal for adults 21+
  • Possession 70-100 grams: minor misdemeanor
  • Possession of 100 – 200 grams: misdemeanor, leading to a maximum 30-day imprisonment and a $250 fine.
  • Possession of 200 – 1,000 grams: felony, with up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
  •  Possession of 1,000 – 5,000 grams: third-degree felony, carrying 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,000 – $10,000.
  • Possession of more than 40,000 grams: second-degree felony leading to at least 8 years imprisonment and/or a $20,000 fine.

Cultivation Penalties:

  • Adults can grow up to 6 plants per residence or up to 12 plants for multiple adults.
  • Penalties for cultivation match those for possession, depending on the equivalent weight.

Sale/Distribution/Trafficking Penalties:

  • Gifting of up to 2.5 ounces between adults is legal.
  • Sale of varying quantities from under 10 grams to over 40,000 grams results in different degrees of felony charges with fines and imprisonment.
  • Selling near schools or to minors escalates penalties.

Hash & Concentrates Penalties:

  • Possession of up to 15 grams of concentrates: Legal for adults 21+ and medical patients. 
  • Different weights of hashish or liquid hashish carry varied felony charges and fines.

Paraphernalia Penalties:

  • Sale of paraphernalia:misdemeanor with a maximum 90-day jail sentence and a $750 fine.
  • Possession or sale of equipment used for hashish creation: misdemeanor with fines up to $750 and jail terms up to 90 days.

Legal Cannabis and Buy Online Alternatives

Although cannabis is legal in many states, hemp-derived THC products are still rising as a noteworthy alternative thanks to their affordability and accessibility. Hemp-derived THC products are federally legal, unlike traditional marijuana products, meaning they can often be ordered online and shipped right to your door. 

Read “Is Delta-8 Legal? A State by State Guide to Delta-8-THC Laws” to learn more about hemp THC laws near you, then check out our Elev8 and Cloud9 Collections.

Vida Optima Cloud9 Delta-9-THC Gummies


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