Is Marijuana Legal in Ohio?

Despite being one of the first US states to decriminalize weed in the 70's, Ohio still hasn’t legalized recreational cannabis.

Cannabis legally grown in Ohio
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Weed is legal in Ohio for medical use, and illegal but decriminalized for recreational purposes. 

Only registered patients with a qualifying condition and medical marijuana card can legally use, possess, and purchase limited quantities of cannabis per day or in 90 days without fear of penalty or prosecution. There are 25 qualifying conditions, including AIDS/HIV, cancer, seizure disorders, glaucoma, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.

Ohio prohibits unregistered users with no qualifying conditions from using, possessing, and purchasing medical or recreational cannabis. The state decriminalizes the possession of up to 100 grams of recreational cannabis and considers it a minor misdemeanor punishable by a fine of no more than $150 (with no jail time).


Summary

  • Medical cannabis is legal in Ohio for registered patients with a qualifying condition and medical marijuana card.
  • Adult-use recreational cannabis is illegal, but small quantities (up to 100 grams) are decriminalized under state law. 
  • Medical marijuana patients can use, possess, and purchase limited amounts of cannabis daily or over 90 days, e.g. 2.83 grams (1/10 oz) per day. All other use and possession limits are outlined below. 
  • Delta-8 is currently legal but state lawmakers seek to regulate it. Delta-8 in medical marijuana is regulated. 
  • You are unable to legally grow cannabis in Ohio.

Weed is legal in Ohio for medicinal purposes and illegal for recreational use. Possession of cannabis in small quantities (up to 100 grams) is decriminalized and considered a misdemeanor under state law. 

No. Recreational weed is illegal in Ohio. Under state law, you cannot currently use, purchase, possess, sell, distribute, or produce recreational cannabis products without fear of penalty or prosecution. Failure to follow state cannabis laws can result in fines or jail time depending on quantity and intent. 

Smoking recreational cannabis in Ohio

The future for recreational cannabis legalization in Ohio looks somewhat promising. 

Ohio cannabis activists have successfully collected enough signatures to force the Ohio state legislature to consider and debate recreational cannabis legalization. 

If the bill passes, Ohio residents will enjoy legal possession of up to 2.5 oz of recreational marijuana and 15 grams of cannabis concentrates. Residents will also be allowed to grow six cannabis plants for personal use (max. 12 per household).

However, Governor Mike DeWine and the state’s Republican legislative leaders have already announced they will not allow a recreational cannabis bill to pass.

Buying medical cannabis at a dispensary in Ohio

Yes, the use, possession, sale, purchase, distribution, and production of medical marijuana is legal in Ohio following the passing of House Bill 523

House Bill 523 was sponsored by state Representative Stephen Huffman and signed by Governor John Kasich on August 22, 2016. 

This bill allows patients with a qualifying condition and a valid state medical marijuana card access to a limited quantity of cannabis per day or over 90 days. It also established a state-run system of growing facilities, testing labs, physician certifications, processors, and dispensaries and created a patient registration process. 

The first Ohioan medical cannabis dispensaries opened on January 16, 2018. There are now over 60 licensed dispensaries currently operating in the state. 

Medical cannabis purchase and possession limits:

Medical cannabis patients with a valid medical marijuana card can legally use, possess, and purchase limited quantities of weed. 

Daily cannabis purchase and possession limit:

  • 2.83 grams (1/10 oz) dried plant material 
  • 295 mg of THC in patches, creams, ointments, or lotions 
  • 100 mg of THC in oils, tinctures, edibles, capsules, or any other orally-consumable cannabis product 
  • 590 mg of THC in vape juice or oil

90-day cannabis purchase and possession limit: 

  • Tier 1: Up to 8 oz of dried plant material 
  • Tier 2: Up to 5 and 3/10 of dried plant material 
  • Up to 26.55 grams of THC in patches, creams, ointments, or lotions
  • No more than 9 and 9/10 grams of THC in cannabis oils, tinctures, capsules, or edibles 
  • Up to 53 and 1/10 grams of THC in vape juice or oil 

90-day cannabis purchase and possession limit (terminal illness):

  • Tier 1: Up to 10 oz dried cannabis plant material 
  • Tier 2: Up to 6 and 6/10 oz of dried cannabis plant material 
  • Up to 33 and 3/10 of THC in cannabis oils, tinctures, capsules, or edibles
  • No more than 11 and 7/10 grams of THC in oils 

Qualifying medical conditions

Conditions approved for medical marijuana in Ohio include:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • AIDS
  • Cachexia, wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain (Severe/Intractable)​
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
  • Epilepsy (Seizures)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV
  • 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

Penalties for weed possession in Ohio

Penalties for weed possession aren’t as severe as in Idaho or Iowa. The state has decriminalized simple use and possession of marijuana in small quantities (up to 100 grams), a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $150. Possession of 100-200 grams of marijuana is also a misdemeanor, with a stricter punishment of up to 30 days in prison and a maximum $250 fine. 

Is weed decriminalized in Ohio?

Marijuana legally grown in Ohio farms

Yes, Ohio became the sixth US state to decriminalize simple possession of weed following a landmark bill signed by then Rep. Governor Jame Rhodes on August 22nd, 1975. 

Section 2925.11 of Ohio’s Revised Code specifically states:

If the drug involved in the violation is marihuana or a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance containing marihuana other than hashish, whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of possession of marihuana. The penalty for the offense shall be determined as follows: (a) [For amounts under 100 grams] possession of marihuana is a minor misdemeanor.

Yes. Delta-8 is legal in Ohio but state officials want to restrict and regulate it under state law. 

At the beginning of 2022, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP) filed proposed rule updates with the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review. These rule updates kick-started the Ohio legislature’s rule-review process. 

One of the proposed rules seeks to update the definition of THC and place delta-8, delta-10, and all other THC isomers under the updated definition, meaning the state might treat each one as a controlled substance — even if derived from hemp. 

Ohio previously regulated delta-8 in medical marijuana. The Ohio Department of Commerce released a set of regulations pertaining to the quantity, production, testing, and labeling of delta-8 in medical cannabis products: 

  • No medical cannabis products can contain above 70% THC, delta-8, or any other THC isomer (combined).
  • The products must clearly be labeled with “Delta-8 THC” — abbreviations such as “D8”, “D8 THC”, or “Delta-8” are not permitted. 
  • State-licensed cultivators, processors, and testing facilities must test for delta-8 and all other THC isomers and analogs. 
Ohio legal letter about delta-8 THC legality

No. In most cases, growing weed is not legal in Ohio. Only state-licensed growers can produce medical marijuana for medicinal purposes. Caregivers for medical marijuana patients can also grow weed but only in limited quantities. 

The punishments for illegally growing and cultivating weed are the same as possession. Growing up to 100 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum $150 fine. Growing between 100-200 grams of cannabis is punishable by up to 30 days in prison and a maximum $250 fine. 

Conclusion

Ohio isn’t the worst place to get caught with weed. The state has decriminalized small quantities of recreational cannabis and legalized medical cannabis for those with a qualifying condition and subsequent medical cannabis card. 

However, if you’re caught in possession of above the decriminalized quantity of cannabis and you’re not a legitimate medical marijuana patient, the penalties are quite harsh. Carrying anywhere between 200-1000 grams of cannabis is a felony punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of $2,500.

Commonly Asked Questions

Is weed legal in Ohio for medical use?

Medical marijuana is legal in Ohio following the passing of House Bill 523. Patients with a qualifying condition and a valid state medical marijuana card may have access to a limited quantity of cannabis.

Is weed legal in Ohio for adult-use?

No, recreational weed is illegal in Ohio. Failure to follow state cannabis laws can result in fines or jail time depending on quantity and intent.

Learn about marijuana legalization in other states

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