After a slew of unsuccessful attempts, the state of Ohio finally improved its marijuana policies this year by passing comprehensive medical marijuana legislation. Recreational marijuana continues to be illegal in Ohio.
Recreational Marijuana Laws in Ohio
Recreational marijuana is currently illegal in Ohio. The small bright spot in Ohio’s marijuana policy is that the possession of less than 100 grams in punishable as a minor misdemeanor and subject to only a $150 fine. In Ohio, minor misdemeanors do not become part of a person’s criminal record. Possession of greater quantities, however, is still a standard misdemeanor or felony, which can be punished by fines of $250 to $20,000, and 30 day to 8-year prison terms.
Additionally, in November 2016, voters in four Ohio cities — Newark, Bellaire, Logan and Roseville — passed a measure to eliminate all criminal penalties and remove driver’s license suspensions associated with the possession of less than 200 grams.
Medical Marijuana Laws in Ohio
Ohio became the 25th U.S. state to legalize medical marijuana after Gov. John Kasich House Bill 523 into law in June 2016. Under the law, patients with a recommendation from a Ohio-licensed doctor are allowed cannabis plant material, edibles, patches, oils and tinctures. The law, however, prohibits smokable marijuana products and home cultivation.
The law took effect September 6, 2016. However, the state still needs to up dispensaries and the program is not expected to be operational until September 2018. Until then, lawmakers are allowing patients to travel to Michigan or other nearby legal states to purchase marijuana and carry it back across state lines.
The following conditions are approved for medical marijuana prescription in the state:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Epilepsy and other Seizures Disorders
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Pain (Chronic, Severe or Intractable)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Spinal Cord Disease or Injury
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Ulcerative Colitis
The Board of Pharmacy is currently developing rules regarding patient registration and the rules will be finalized by September 2017.
CBD Hemp Oil in Ohio
Consumption of CBD hemp oil is federally legal, as CBD hemp oil falls under the same importation and commerce laws as other hemp products. Ohio has not enacted legislation specifically relating to CBD hemp oil, so it is legal to purchase and use.
Cultivation of Cannabis in Ohio
Law in Ohio prohibits cultivating cannabis for personal or medical use. Additionally, there are currently no policies that support cultivation of cannabis for agricultural, research or commercial purposes in Ohio. Cultivation in Ohio is punished as possession.
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