Currently, the only way to use marijuana legally in Ohio is with a medical marijuana card. That means only qualified patients with a particular medical condition who take the proper steps to register as a medical marijuana patient with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy and comply with all Ohio marijuana laws and all rules and regulations of the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program have the legal right to use marijuana in the state of Ohio.
Ohio Marijuana Laws: Recreational Marijuana
According to Ohio weed laws 2022, adult-use of marijuana by non-medical-marijuana patients, commonly known as recreational marijuana, is not legal in Ohio. That means the purchase, sale, cultivation and home growth, possession and use of marijuana is still illegal in Ohio unless you are a registered medical marijuana patient.
However, there is a bill that may appear on the Ohio ballot November 8, 2022 as an indirect initiated state statute. If this bill were to pass, this would effectively legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio.
A Brief History of Ohio Medical Marijuana Laws
In 2016, under increasing pressure from activists and the promise of a ballot measure in that year’s November state elections that year to institute a law to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio, legislators took preemptive action and, in May of 2016, passed a bill, H.B. 523, making Ohio the 25th state in the U.S. to make marijuana legalized Ohio. On June 8, 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed that bill into law.
Ohio’s medical marijuana law went into effect on September 8, 2016. At that time, the process to institute Ohio cannabis laws began. As per the newly passed laws on marijuana in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Commerce (DOC) had approximately one year to accomplish that. Over that time, the DOC created the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program to come up with and oversee rules and regulations to institute Ohio marijuana laws.
Ohio medical marijuana patients have certain legal protections under state law.
- Child custody – Registered patients and whomever they designate as their caregivers are protected from discrimination, arrest or prosecution for the medical marijuana patient status in matters of child custody.
- DUI – A person’s status as a registered medical marijuana patient or the caregiver of one is not a sufficient basis alone for law enforcement officials to conduct a DUI investigation.
- Housing – A person cannot be discriminated against in matters of housing purely because of his or her status as a medical marijuana patient or caregiver.
- Health Care – It is illegal to discriminate against a properly registered medical marijuana patient or caregiver in Ohio who is seeking an organ transplant.
- Employment – While an employer is not required by law to accommodate an employee’s medical marijuana use, employers are not permitted to discriminate against candidates for employment merely because of their status as a medical marijuana patient or caregiver in Ohio.
Obtaining an Ohio Medical Marijuana Card
To obtain a medical marijuana card in Ohio, you must be a valid registered patient with the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. In order to do that, you must receive a recommendation from an approved doctor for medical marijuana.
Once that is accomplished, you will soon thereafter receive an email from the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program inviting you to log into their website and complete your application for an Ohio MMJ card. Once your application is approved, you will receive that card, and you can begin purchasing medical marijuana legally in the state.
To get an Ohio MMJ card, you must have one of these medical conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy or other seizure disorder
- Hepatitis C
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Pain that is either severe and chronic or intractable
- Parkison’s disease
- Positive HIV status
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Spinal cord injury or disease
- Terminal illness
- Tourette syndrome
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Ulcerative colitis
Age and Residency Requirements for a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio
You must be at least 18 years old to register as a medical marijuana patient in Ohio without a parent or guardian’s authorization.
If you are under 18, you can still obtain an Ohio medical marijuana card, but you will need a legal parent or guardian to register as your designated caregiver at the same time as you apply for your Ohio MMJ card. This caregiver will be responsible for procuring medical marijuana on your behalf and distributing it to you according to your doctor’s instructions on your medical marijuana recommendation.
To register as a medical marijuana patient in Ohio, hold a valid Ohio MMJ card and receive all the rights and protections they confer, your primary residence must be an Ohio address.
Establishing Age and Residency
To register for your Ohio MMJ card, you must present an approved form or forms of identity documentation establishing your age and residency qualifications for an Ohio MMJ card. Approved identity documentation includes a valid Ohio driver’s license, official Ohio state ID card or US passport listing your name, Ohio address and birthdate the same as they appear on your application.
To receive a recommendation for medical marijuana in Ohio, you must have an examination with such a doctor once per year to establish or verify your diagnosis for a qualifying condition and submit your medical marijuana recommendation on your behalf to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
Only approved doctors can write medical marijuana recommendations. To be approved, a physician must meet two qualifies:
- Licensed to practice medicine in Ohio – Granted by the Ohio State Board of Medicine
- Certified-to-Recommend (CTR) medical marijuana in Ohio – Granted by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy
Your current physician may or may not meet these qualifications. And, if your physician is properly licensed but is not CTR, he or she may not be willing to become a medical marijuana doctor. Even if your doctor is CTR, you may not wish to broach the subject with him or her.
Some other cases in which you may not be able to see your current physician for a medical marijuana recommendation:
- If you live too far away from the doctor’s office, have no way of getting there or currently feel unsafe traveling to a doctor’s office during the COVID-19 emergency
- If the out-of-pocket cost of the doctor’s visit would be too much, because most, if not all, insurance companies will not cover medical marijuana examinations
In those cases, you’ll need to find another qualified doctor elsewhere to provide you with the medical marijuana examination and recommendation you need for an Ohio MMJ card.
It can be tough to find a properly licensed and CT physician in some areas. In other cases, you may find such a doctor but be unable to get an appointment anytime soon, or the cost might be prohibitively high. Or, you still may not wish to leave your home during COVID-19 if it can be avoided.
Fortunately, you can get a medical marijuana recommendation without leaving your home. In 2020, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program made it legal for medical marijuana doctors to provide the examinations and write the recommendation necessary for a patient to receive a medical marijuana card all online, using telehealth.
To find a medical marijuana doctor who offers recommendations online, look no further than MMJcardforless.com. There, you’ll be put in touch with an approved Ohio medical marijuana doctor over video call almost as soon as you sign up.
Ohio Marijuana Laws on Purchasing Marijuana
Patients are only permitted to purchase or possess a 90-day supply of medical marijuana at any one time.
Legal Forms of Medical Marijuana
Authorized patients are permitted to purchase medical marijuana whole plant flowers. However, they must be vaporized, not smoked. Patients can also purchase medical marijuana extracts, tinctures and medical marijuana infused edible foods and beverages. Patients and their caregivers may only purchase these products from a licensed dispensary.
Taxes on Medical Marijuana
Since medical marijuana is not considered a prescription drug in Ohio, purchases of medical marijuana in the state are subject to state taxes. The current retail sales tax rate in Ohio is 5.75 percent. Local jurisdictions may also impose their own tax on all medical marijuana sales of up to 8 percent.