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Legalization Status

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Decriminalized Since 1975

Medical Marijuana (1)

Medical since 2010

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Not Recreational

Ohio Governing Body Information


2019 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update

As Ohio settles into 2019, a new ballot to legalize marijuana in the Buckeye state may be in the works. A grassroots group started a campaign known as the Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative in early 2019. Proponents of the Initiative suggest that a constitutional amendment which would legalize marijuana could be on the ballot as soon as November 5th 2019. Although the Initiative has strong support from lawmakers, marijuana growers and retailers should not be too hasty in preparing for mass marijuana sales. It has been reported that certain police departments in Ohio will continue to make arrests even if the measure is approved in a November 2019 ballot. As recreational marijuana is not yet legal in Ohio, marijuana manufacturers and dispensaries are encouraged to continue checking this page for updates to Ohio’s marijuana labeling and marijuana packaging laws.

2018 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update

In 1975, the Buckeye State was the 6th state in the US to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis for adults. Then it took Ohio exactly forty years to try again, this time with legislation that looked more like the recreational cannabis laws in other states like Colorado. This legislation was a little too much, and it was defeated. The very next year, in 2016, Ohio voters passed House Bill 523, which legalized medical cannabis.

The possession laws from 1975 are still on the books, and they’re some of the most liberal in the nation, allowing up to three and a half ounces (precisely 100 grams) for personal use. If a citizen is caught with more than that or even double that, a full 7 oz, they are only charged with misdemeanors and have low fines. Anything more, however, can incur hefty fines, criminal charges including felonies, and jail time of up to 8 years.

Proposed Medical Cannabis Laws in Ohio

The newly minted “Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program will allow people with certain medical conditions, upon the recommendation of an Ohio-licensed physician certified by the State Medical Board, to purchase and use medical marijuana,” as stated by their official site. Modeled after other programs, Ohio will register patients with certain illnesses and conditions, issue identification cards for them, license cultivators and dispensaries, as well as establish testing sites to maintain purity. So far, the MMCP is a joint task force between three Ohio government agencies: the Board of Pharmacy, the State Medical Board, and the Department of Commerce.

Proposed Ohio Cannabis Business Rules

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy will be issuing certificates of operation after an application process. Dispensaries will be subject to the usual rules about placement, but Ohio is ahead of the game by already setting out specific packaging laws ahead of time. These include tamper resistant packaging for delivery to and from dispensaries, processors, and cultivators. Packaging intended for point of sale should contain labels with the same warnings as other states about the contents, safety, as well as be child proof.

2017 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update

Many states still follow US Federal guidelines for cannabis, classifying it as an illegal drug with no medicinal value and addictive qualities. Ohio is one of those states, considering cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic. A Schedule 1 narcotic is a drug with “no health benefits and a high potential for abuse.” The “no health benefits” part of that statement is what most cannabis activists are trying to challenge. Despite that, individuals can still face charges if they’re in possession of cannabis, and legal consequences can be more severe if the amount of cannabis is over what is considered enough for “personal use.”

Current Medical Cannabis Laws

Lawmakers in many states, including the Buckeye State, are still working with lobbyists, scientists, and law enforcement to decide on the question of legal cannabis in the state. The question may also be put to voters to decide, depending on the state laws. Many states begin the path toward legalizing cannabis by relaxing possession laws, so you should check with Ohio state government  to see current laws and regulations regarding cannabis dispensaries in the state.

Current Cannabis Research

Scientists have been studying the chemicals that create the physical and mental effects of cannabis, called cannabinoids. They have isolated the chemical (THC) that causes the mental impairment, intoxication, and occasional anxiety many experience with cannabis use. The other major chemical is cannabidiol, or CBD. While THC is illegal in all states, the legality of CBD varies state by state.

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