The first state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary opened in Ohio in 2019, and the number of centers continues to increase. Lawmakers approved a medical marijuana law in 2016, but implementation has proceeded slowly and with delays. The program continues to steadily grow, however, and over 78,000 patients have registered since the state began accepting applications.
In June 2019, the Ohio State Medical Board delayed a vote on whether autism and anxiety disorder should be added to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. A previous committee recommended that they be included — while also recommending that depression, opioid dependence, and insomnia not be added. For more information on Ohio’s medical marijuana program and access to patient forms and other resources, visit Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program’s website. And for an overview of the current medical marijuana law, see our quick summary.
For individuals who are not registered as a medical marijuana patients, 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.
In recent years, efforts to decriminalize marijuana possession at the local level in cities around Ohio have been met with success, including a recent victory in Cincinnati. Read more about some of the work advocates are doing on this issue here. More and more Ohioans are ready for change and believe that marijuana should be legal for adults. They see that marijuana prohibition has failed and only undermines public health and safety. It’s time for Ohio to move forward, stop arresting people for marijuana, and adopt a sensible system of legalization.