Medical cannabis program roll-out delays continue, likely into 2019



Last update: November 5, 2018


Ohio continues the rollout process for its emerging medical marijuana program, and the state is now well past its statutory September 8 deadline. Licenses have been announced in all three categories, including cultivators, processors, and retail stores, with cultivators having begun growing medical cannabis. But the long grading process and lawsuits following the announcements have resulted in delays in the program timeline. No expected launch date has yet been announced.

Earlier this year, the state announced that doctors may start the process of registering to participate in the program – a necessary step before doctors can make recommendations to patients. Unfortunately, the program has yet to officially launch, severely limiting protections for patients.

For the latest information on the application process, 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 rules are finalized and 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.

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