After delays, medical marijuana sales begin in Ohio


Last update: February 11, 2019


At long last, medical marijuana patients can make purchases at state-licensed dispensaries in Ohio. After regulators failed to meet statutory deadlines last year, the first doors opened on January 16, 2019.

Over 17,000 patients have registered in the program so far, and more are expected to sign up as the program expands. MPP led the 2016 ballot initiative effort that resulted in the legislature adopting a viable medical marijuana law. Now, after years of patients waiting for the policy to become reality, the day has come. However, due to slow implementation, many parts of the state still lack convenient access.

For the latest information, including access to forms and timelines, check out Ohio’s medical marijuana program website. And for an overview of the current law, see our quick summary. Stay tuned – this is a big year for Ohio’s program as the rollout process continues.

Marijuana laws in Ohio


Possession of less than 100 grams (or about 3.5 ounces), giving 20 grams or less of marijuana to another person, or growing less than 100 grams of marijuana are each considered  “minor misdemeanors,” punishable by a maximum fine of $150. A minor misdemeanor is not a “jailable” offense, but a person’s driver’s license can be suspended for a period ranging from six months to five years.

While Ohio’s marijuana penalties are less draconian than its neighbors, law enforcement officers are still wasting valuable time and resources. In 2012, Ohio officers arrested or cited 14,374 people for marijuana-related offenses, 94% of which were for possession only. At the same time, 91.6% of all reported burglaries — including home invasions — and 90% of all motor vehicle thefts went unsolved. Let your legislators know it's time law enforcement stopped wasting time punishing adults for choosing a safer alternative to alcohol.

Stay connected


Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project. To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in Ohio, be sure to subscribe to MPP's free alert service.