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Ohio’s Progressive Move: Free Medical Cannabis Registration for Patients in 2024

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In December 2023, Ohio became the twenty-fourth state in America to legalize recreational cannabis (adult use). State votes approved Issue Two (An Act to Control and Regulate Adult Use of Cannabis) on November 7, 2023. Almost 58% of Ohioans supported the constitutional amendment.

Residents are waiting for dispensaries to start selling cannabis products to adults aged twenty-one years or older, and that deadline is approaching soon. The Ohio Division of Cannabis Control (DCC) is in the process of licensing retail cannabis dispensaries, and the first non-medicinal products may be available starting in August or September of 2024.

To prepare for recreational marijuana sales, the Ohio Division of Cannabis Control opted to change the fees charged for patients and guardians in the caregiver registry. The annual fees were initially $50 for patients and $25 for caregivers. In March 2024, the DCC announced that it was dropping the annual fee to only 1 cent.

On May 8, the DCC made a surprising new announcement. All annual fees for patients participating in the Ohio medical marijuana program will be dropped, and neither patients nor caregivers providing pediatric support will be required to pay annual fees.

Questions About The Impact of Recreational Legalization on Registered Medical Marijuana Patients

Whenever a state moves to legalize recreational marijuana, understandably, patients who are participating in the medical cannabis program have concerns. In the early days of legalizing medical marijuana, there were missteps in some states. For example, in Illinois, immediately following recreational marijuana legalization, there was a shortage of cannabis products that had a substantial impact on patients.

Learning from similar examples, many states moved to guarantee minimum inventory levels or reserve them for patients who rely on medical cannabis for symptom relief. Since Ohio plans to dually license existing medical cannabis dispensaries for recreational marijuana sales, it is unlikely that demand will exceed supply for patients.

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How Much Tax Will Be Charged on Ohio Recreational Marijuana Products?

The excise tax charged on all recreational marijuana products will be 10%, for a combined 15.75% tax on every purchase at licensed dispensaries. This is a slightly lower-than-average tax rate compared to other states and almost at par with the neighboring state, Michigan.

Patients registered in the Ohio medical marijuana program will not pay an excise tax, only the 5.75% state retail sales tax. This may encourage more eligible Ohioans to become medical marijuana patients, not only for guidance on symptoms and health issues but to save the additional 10% excise tax monthly.

Can You Consume Cannabis in Public?

Recreational marijuana legalization has not changed the restrictions in Ohio for public consumption. It will remain illegal for any individual to consume any cannabis product in public, near educational institutions (daycare, elementary schools, high schools, and colleges). This also includes public parks and private entertainment venues.

Possessing or using cannabis while operating a motor vehicle is also prohibited in Ohio. That includes personal vehicles like cars, motorcycles, aircraft, and watercraft.

Are Employers Still Permitted to Conduct Drug Testing?

In Ohio, the legislation legalizing recreational marijuana did not provide any labor protections for medical or adult use of marijuana. Employers have the right to maintain drug-free workplace policies.

How Many New Cannabis Dispensaries Will There Be In Ohio?

Currently, there are 120 licensed dispensaries providing medical cannabis products for patients in Ohio. There are an additional 12 provisional retail licenses that have been issued. The new legislation for Issue 2 in Ohio allows for an additional 40 cultivator licenses and fifty (50) new dispensary locations in the state.

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Will Every City Have Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries in Ohio?

According to data provided by Ohio State University, forty-seven (47) jurisdictions in Ohio have an active moratorium on recreational marijuana sales. Those jurisdictions represent approximately 9% of the adult population in Ohio, with localities averaging around 20,000 residents.

Some of the cities and towns that have an active moratorium on recreational marijuana include:

  • Kirtland
  • Avon Lake
  • Medina Township
  • Beachwood
  • Hudson
  • Lisbon
  • Salem
  • Shelby
  • Bellville
  • Bellefontaine
  • Marysville
  • Springboro
  • Hamilton
  • Troy
  • West Carrollton
  • Miamisburg
  • Carlisle
  • West Chester Township

Communities have the right to prohibit the sale of cannabis in their jurisdiction through municipal legal ordinances. Regardless of the legalization of recreational marijuana, some communities can opt out and refuse to permit dispensaries to sell either cannabis for adult use or to patients who have an Ohio medical marijuana card.

Will Host Communities Receive Tax Funds From Recreational Marijuana Sales?

For Ohio municipalities that do not ban the sale of recreational marijuana in their jurisdiction, there is a substantial incentive. Thirty-six (36%) of the recreational cannabis excise tax revenues will be directed to a Host Community Fund. That will be distributed to townships or municipal corporations to fund priorities, such as infrastructure improvement, law enforcement costs, and other needs.

Can I Be Evicted for Using Cannabis in Ohio?

There are currently no laws that prohibit landlords or property management companies from evicting individuals for cannabis use. The same holds true for medical marijuana patients living in Ohio.

Does Recreational Marijuana Legalization Change Ohio Gun Ownership Laws?

Whether you currently own a firearm or you are planning to purchase one, possessing cannabis and a weapon is currently illegal according to Ohio state law and federal laws. There are no legal protections for firearm owners, and if you use medical cannabis or recreational marijuana, you can face legal charges for joint possession.

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How Do You Get a Card for Medical Marijuana in Ohio?

Thanks to voter support of Ohio Issue 2, adult-use marijuana should be available for Ohio residents in the Fall of 2024. However, given the additional 10% excise tax on recreational marijuana products, it may be a good time to consider getting an Ohio medical marijuana card.

Are you eligible to apply for your Ohio med card?

  • Visit our website for a list of qualifying medical conditions. You can apply for a medical card if you have been diagnosed with one or more of the accepted conditions.
  • Schedule a telemedicine appointment with a DocMJ Ohio cannabis healthcare provider.
  • Submit your health records for review by the provider.
  • Attend your appointment.

If DocMJ cannot certify you for an Ohio medical marijuana card, we have a 100% money-back guarantee. Your fee paid for the appointment will be refunded in 5-7 business days. Save money on taxes with every purchase, and get the expert suggestions and advice you need from one of our experienced cannabis providers.

Remember, no annual fees are to be paid now outside of the required appointment to renew your Ohio medical marijuana card.


  • Telemedicine appointments Available
  • 100% Money Back If not Approved
  • Risk-Free! 100% Refund if you do not qualify
  • Monthly Payment Plan