is weed legal in ohio

Is Weed Legal In Ohio: Full Guide

Table of Contents

It makes sense that residents of Ohio might be uncertain about whether they can legally use marijuana given the number of states that have legalized the drug. Despite the fact that Ohio has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, it is still against the law to use marijuana for recreational purposes there. Here’s everything you need to know about getting high in the Buckeye State.

Is Weed Legal in Ohio? Straight to the point.

  • Recreational THC: No
  • Medical THC: Yes
  • CBD: Yes
  • Delta-8: Yes

Medical Weed Laws

Marijuana use is only legal in Ohio for medical reasons; it is not allowed for recreational use. Since 1975, it is no longer a crime to have up to 100 grams (312 oz) of marijuana in your possession. A few of the biggest cities in the state have also changed their laws. The state legislature passed a bill legalizing medical use in 2016 with the passing of House Bill 523

One or more of the following are qualifying debilitating medical conditions: 

  • AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Positive status for HIV
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Spasticity
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces 1 or more of the following:
    • Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
    • Severe and Chronic Pain
    • Severe Nausea
    • Seizures (Including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy)
    • Severe and Persistent Muscle Spasms (Including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis)

You must be qualified in order to get an Ohio medical marijuana card. First, speak with your doctor to establish care. Then, you will be schedule an appointment with a state-certified medical marijuana doctor. They will prescribe a medical card if you have been diagnosed with a condition where marijuana would improve your symptoms and quality of life. 

A medical card from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy will be given to you after your appointment with the medical marijuana doctor. After that, you can go to a dispensary and buy the marijuana products of your choice.

You can use medical marijuana if you’re under 18 years old, but you’ll need a parent or legal guardian to be listed as your caregiver. The parent or legal guardian who is designated as the patient’s “caregiver” is only permitted to buy non-inhalation-route products, such as tinctures and edibles, on the patient’s behalf.

Recreational Weed Laws

Trends show that many states with medical marijuana programs usually move towards adult-use recreational legalization. However, recreational weed’s regulatory environment tends to be far more complex. Although many states maintain their medical programs to support patients, the same rules do not apply to the general public once recreational marijuana is legalized. Possession limits may vary, as well as the consequences for using marijuana outside of the state-mandated guidelines. See below for more information about the current legal status and recreational legalization efforts.

Is Weed Decriminalized in Ohio?

Ohio has decriminalized weed to some degree. The amount of marijuana in question, however, determines the severity of the punishments. 

Ohio Rev. Code 2925.11 governs the state’s laws regarding the possession of controlled substances. Any compound, mixture, preparation, or substance containing marijuana other than hashish is subject to these penalties. 

When making an arrest for simple marijuana possession, police officers frequently look for additional evidence of marijuana sales intent. Significantly harsher penalties and repercussions apply to marijuana possession with the intent to sell than to simple possession.

What happens if you get caught with weed in Ohio? Possession of marijuana in Ohio law is a minor misdemeanor for having less than 100 grams. The penalty for a minor misdemeanor possession of marijuana is a $150 fine. For a first-time offense, the court will not impose a jail sentence.

Cannabinoid Variants

Cannabis is the overarching name for hemp and marijuana plants. While marijuana is only legal through licensed, regulated channels, hemp is federally regulated. Cannabinoids like CBD, Delta-8, and HHC are sold to adults over 18 in many states. Has Ohio adopted these newer alternative cannabinoids?

Is CBD legal in Ohio?

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production in the United States. This legislation opened up vast possibilities for CBD-rich hemp to enter the mainstream market, allowing consumers to purchase CBD in retail establishments and online. CBD is often found in supplements, topicals, edibles, portable vape pens, home goods, and beauty and body care products. 

The Farm Bill legally protects CBD production, but it is not without stipulation. All commercially available CBD products must be derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. However, some states have elected to regulate CBD independently and may have further restrictions on its use and distribution. CBD is legal in Ohio.

Is Delta-8 legal in Ohio?

Ohio Senate Bill 57, a significant piece of legislation that legalized hemp and products derived from it in accordance with the federal Farm Bill, was signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine in the middle of 2019. Cannabinoids like Delta-8, CBD, and CBN were among those made legal, paving the way for full, unrestricted access to hemp-derived goods in the state. This legislation made Delta-8 derived from hemp legal throughout the state by removing it from the list of controlled substances.

Is Delta-10 legal in Ohio?

In Ohio, Delta-10 THC is legal under federal law. Ohio has specifically legalized all hemp products that contain an acceptable level of Delta 9-THC (0.3% or less on a dry weight basis), according to state law.

Are THC-O and other THC variants legal in Ohio?

In recent years, alternative hemp-derived cannabinoids have dominated the market as a more accessible way to get high. However, they have existed in a legal gray area until February 2023. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has declared Delta-8-THC-O and Delta-9-THC-O illegal controlled substances. These compounds are not naturally occurring in either hemp or marijuana and are considered synthetic cannabinoids. 

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and its byproducts so long as they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by volume. The market for cannabinoids has grown in the states since then as several alternative cannabinoids emerged, including synthetic THC isomers. 

For the time being, this latest update does not affect alternative cannabinoids like THC-JD, THC-P, THCP-O, THC-H, and THC-B because they do exist naturally in trace amounts. Advocates feel that only the end of the federal prohibition on marijuana will successfully regulate synthetic or naturally occurring cannabinoids.

Are HHC and HHC-O legal in Ohio?

Ohio has legalized HHC. Hemp derivatives with less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC are legal under 2018 federal law and state law. As a result, adults in Ohio can legally consume HHC as well as other isomers like Delta-8, Delta-10, THC-O, and THC-P.

HHC-O is probably legal in Ohio and is federally permitted in the United States. In many cases, these are the same laws that legalized CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoids. The same rules continue to apply, legalizing only hemp-derived products with less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.

Cultivation Laws

Marijuana cultivation is prohibited in Ohio. For second or subsequent offenses, cultivation within 100 feet of a child or within 1,000 feet of a school carries stiffer penalties, and the amount of cultivation affects the severity of the punishments. See FAQ below for more information.

For anyone interested in cultivating cannabis for Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries, visit the Ohio Marijuana Control Program for more information. 

Where to Buy Weed in Ohio

There are a few ways to obtain weed in Ohio, and we recommend opting for legal channels only.


In Ohio, a licensed medical marijuana dispensary is the only place where you can buy marijuana legally. There are currently 58 medical dispensaries located in large cities, suburbs, and small towns across the state of Ohio. In order to give patients a more convenient shopping experience, these dispensaries are dispersed throughout the area. 

You must have a qualifying medical condition, have a doctor assist you in signing up for the state registry, and only buy marijuana from a state-approved dispensary in order to legally purchase medical marijuana.


Currently, there are no cannabis delivery services in Ohio.

Direct to Consumer

In Ohio, there are very strict laws governing who is allowed to sell marijuana. You cannot buy marijuana from a producer or manufacturer directly. Patients may purchase from licensed dispensaries only at this time. 

Black Market

Despite legalization efforts, the marijuana black market remains active. The illegal purchase of weed from a black market dealer comes with serious risks. Not only is it difficult to determine the potency and purity of the product, but the legal implications can be disastrous. In some cases, a mere slap on the wrist, but in others, buying weed illegally results in jail time or a prison sentence. For those that live in a state with a medical or recreational marijuana program, it’s best to obtain cannabis through legal channels.

Efforts to Legalize Recreational Weed in Ohio

Democrats and Independents are more likely than others to support legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Ohio. Ohio voters who were likely to vote were surveyed by the Siena College Research Institute and asked for their opinions. The age group most interested in legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Ohio was 35 to 49. 

In Ohio, 62% of men and 57% of women support legalizing marijuana. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, a citizen-led initiative, is currently leading a legalization campaign in Ohio. 140,000 signatures were gathered by the group.

Ohio House Republicans declared it was too late for this year after the coalition just barely missed a deadline while gathering more signatures. This action prompted the coalition to file a lawsuit. According to an agreement, the coalition agreed to postpone the issue’s vote until 2023 if the lawmakers agreed to let the group use the signatures it has already gathered rather than starting over. 

The proposed law from the Ohio coalition would regulate the growth, production, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana-related products for adults 21 and older, according to the group. In addition, the legislation would make it legal for adults 21 and older to cultivate up to six plants per person and 12 plants per residence.

Mike DeWine, the governor of Ohio, has stated that he opposes marijuana legalization for recreational use.

General FAQ

Where can you smoke weed in Ohio?

Some claim that the law is essentially the same as Ohio’s general smoking ban in that it forbids smoking marijuana in public. It is best to use cannabis in your own home if you plan to do so.

Can you smoke weed in public in Ohio?

In Ohio, it is illegal to smoke marijuana in public, even if you have a medical marijuana card.

When was medical weed legalized in Ohio?

On September 8, 2016, House Bill 523 became law, making medical marijuana legal in Ohio.

Punishment for Illegal Acts FAQ

What are the penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing weed?

No matter how much marijuana you have under your control, Ohio considers possession to be a crime. Nevertheless, the state has made it legal to possess small amounts of marijuana. 

Possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana (or the equivalent in solid or liquid hashish) is regarded as a minor misdemeanor that carries a maximum fine of $150 but no mandatory jail time and no record-keeping requirements.

The following is a summary of the possible sanctions for cannabis possession: 
100-200g: maximum $250 fine and up to 30 days in jail. 
200g or one kilogram: up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine. 
One kilogram to twenty kilograms: five years in prison and a $5,000–10,000 fine.

The penalties significantly rise for any amount greater than 100 grams. One such penalty is the suspension of a driver’s license for a minimum of six months and a maximum of five years for offenses involving more than 100 grams of marijuana.

Cultivation. The deliberate planting, watering, fertilizing, or harvesting of marijuana plants is illegal in Ohio. Depending on how much was grown and whether the plants were close to a school or within reach of a child, different penalties apply.

Possession of drug-related accessories. In Ohio, it is unlawful to possess or use any tools for growing, storing, processing, or using marijuana. The penalties for manufacturing or selling paraphernalia include fines of up to $750 and up to 90 days in jail, while the penalties for possessing drug paraphernalia include a fine of $150 and a potential driver’s license suspension of up to five years.

Trafficking. Drug trafficking charges may be brought against anyone who distributes marijuana, sells marijuana, prepares marijuana for sale, or transports or ships marijuana. The carrying of up to 20 grams of marijuana is a minor misdemeanor punishable by a $150 fine, similar to Ohio’s possession laws. However, fines rise in accordance with the volume of trafficked goods, whether children were present, or other factors.

What is the penalty for selling to a minor?

Selling to a minor results in greater punishment across the board. Expect larger fines and increased jail time for doing so. 

What is possession with the intent to sell?

Possession with intent to distribute means that a person is in possession of more weed than one would personally consume. This is an indication that the person plans to sell this abundance of marijuana on the black market. It is a severe offense with legal consequences.

When is possession still a crime?

It is unlawful for anyone to “knowingly obtain, possess, or use a controlled substance or a controlled substance analog,” according to Section 2925.11 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC). Possession must be proven when facing charges of possession.

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