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Ohio Medical Marijuana Laws 2019

Reading through legal documents can be time-consuming and confusing, and deciphering Ohio’s medical marijuana laws is no exception. As patients, we want to know what our legal rights and responsibilities are as well as the consequences for violating these rules. For instance, how much medical marijuana can we legally possess at one time? What routes and dosage options are available to patients?  How often do we need to see our MMJ physician? Once you know these details, you can speak with one of our Ohio medical marijuana doctors to discuss which products and routes would benefit your health conditions. If you are unsure about whether or not you can become a medical marijuana patient, take our quick online eligibility survey to see if you pre-qualify for an Ohio medical marijuana recommendation. 

Ohio’s legislature approved House Bill 523 legalizing medical marijuana in June, 2016. In order to remain informed consumers, we need to keep up on changes in the legislation that affect our access to product, routes we can use to administer MMJ, and where the line is drawn between legal administration of medication and a violation of the law. There have been changes to the initial bill, so even those familiar with the initial legislation may not be aware of the law as it stands today.

How to Obtain a Medical Marijuana Recommendation in Ohio

Ohio law lists 21 qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use:

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Seizure Disorder
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hepatitis C
  • Multiple Sclerosis or MS
  • Spinal Cord Injury or Disease
  • Tourette’s Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Severe or Intractable Pain
  • Epilepsy

In order to get a recommendation in Ohio, patients must see a physician certified by the state. Because of marijuana’s Schedule I status, many doctors are reluctant to see potential MMJ patients; you may need to travel to find a clinic or physician willing to see you for this purpose. Please remember that most insurance will not cover the cost of your visit, so you will have to pay for this out of your own pocket. It will speed up the process if you bring copies of your medical records, including the results of any scans, x-rays, or surgical procedures that confirm your diagnosis. Once you see the doctor, your recommendation will be submitted to the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy for approval. There is a $50 fee for the card. Patients need to see their MMJ doctor at least once a year in order to maintain an active status.  In Ohio, there is a form you can fill out in order to receive a 50% discount on your card fee if you are indigent or a veteran. If you think you qualify for this discount, you need to let your physician know so they can enter this in the registry. 


Which Forms and Routes of Administration am I Allowed to Use in Ohio?


Ohio patients can buy flower at dispensaries, but they can only vape it. Smoking MMJ is not allowed under Ohio law. Patches, oils, tinctures and edibles are available; edibles sold in dispensaries must be in shapes and forms that don’t appeal to children. Cultivating your own marijuana or purchasing it from sources other than approved dispensaries is not allowed under current law. Ohio currently limits the THC content of plant material to less than 35%; extracts may not contain more than 70%. 

What Other Laws Apply to Me as a Medical Marijuana Patient in Ohio?

Ohio Law specifically forbids the use of MMJ on federal land. There are no laws regarding children with qualifying conditions using it at school. Employers are not prohibited from denying employment to patients, conducting random drug testing, or firing employees who test positive on those tests. While most landlords are not allowed to discriminate against tenants who use medical marijuana, those who operate Federally-subsidized housing can legally prevent patients from becoming renters. Children can be patients as long as they have an adult caregiver with a valid Ohio license, passport or state ID. Patients are allowed to have up to a 90-day supply of MMJ in their possession at any time. Patients who falsify their conditions or the severity of their disabilities in order to obtain medical marijuana can be subject to prosecution. Patients may not sell or give their MMJ to any other person or patient. It is illegal in Ohio to operate a vehicle, trackless trolley, streetcar, watercraft, or aircraft while under the influence of medical marijuana. Patients are not specifically prohibited from using MMJ in public places, but they are also not guaranteed the right to do so; accommodation is up to the owner or operator of the public area. 

Medical marijuana patients are encouraged to keep up on all state and local regulations regarding recommendations as well as purchasing, using, and transporting their medication in order to avoid being penalized for breaking the law. Rules and regulations are continuously changing and evolving. Feel free to speak to one of our Ohio Medical Marijuana physicians or staff if you have any questions regarding current law. If they cannot answer you directly, they can direct you to the appropriate resources in order to help you stay informed. 

  1. https://www.ohiomarijuanacard.com/qualify-for-ohio-marijuana-card
  2. https://www.medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov/Documents/PatientsCaregivers/Quick%20Reference%20Guide%20-%20Registering%20With%20Indigent%20Or%20Veteran%20Status.pdf
  3. https://www.squirepattonboggs.com/~/media/files/insights/publications/2019/01/what-schools-need-to-know-as-medical-marijuana-comes-to-ohio/medicalmarijuanaalert.pdf
  4. http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3796