Please note: ILGM is NOT a legal adviser. Information contained in this website is intended as general introductory information only. The information contained on this website is not legal advice. It should not be construed as legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.
Marijuana Laws in Ohio:
To some degree, the State of Ohio has decriminalized cannabis. This means Ohio does not require jail time for those convicted of offenses related to possession of small amounts of marijuana, even for subsequent convictions. These offenders do not receive criminal records.
The state also has a medical marijuana program. This became effective September 2016 when the state approved the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. Under this program, people with qualifying medical conditions may receive recommendations from state-licensed physicians. These medical professionals must be State Medical Board certified.
Once qualified, patients are eligible to purchase medical cannabis and can apply to the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy for a state ID card.
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Possessing Marijuana in Ohio
Those not participating in Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program may not legally possess cannabis in this state. All offenders face the following punishments:
- Under 100 grams = Minor misdemeanor: $150 fine with no jail time and no criminal record
- Between 100 to 200 grams = Misdemeanor: Fine up to $250 and up to 30 days’ incarceration
- Between 200 to 1,000 grams = Felony: Fine up to $2,500 and up to 1-year incarceration (See Affirmative Defense section below)
- Between 1,000 to 20,000 grams = Felony: Fine between $5,000 to $10,000 and/or 1 to 5 years’ incarceration
- Between 20,000 to 40,000 grams = Felony: Fine up to $15,000 and/or between 5 to 8 years’ incarceration
- Over 40,000 grams = Felony: Fine up to $20,000 and/or a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 8 years
For possessing between 200 to 1,000 grams of cannabis, the Ohio court allows an affirmative defense. The defendant must prove in court that the cannabis was possessed solely for personal consumption.
Concentrates & Hash
Possession of solid hashish or liquid hashish is a crime in Ohio, punishable as follows:
- Under 5 grams solid or under 1 gram liquid = Minor misdemeanor: Fine up to $150 with no jail time and no criminal record
- Between 5 to 10 grams solid or between 1-2 grams liquid = Misdemeanor: Fine up to $250 and/or up to 30 days’ incarceration
- Between 10 to 50 grams solid or between 2 to 10 grams liquid = Felony: Fine up to $2,500 and/or up to 1-year incarceration
- Between 50 to 1,000 grams solid or between 10 to 200 grams liquid = Felony: Fine up to $10,000 and/or mandatory minimum sentence of 9 months to up to 3 years’ incarceration
- Between 1,000 to 2,000 grams solid or between 200 to 400 grams liquid = Felony: Fine up to $15,000 and/or 8 years’ incarceration
- Over 2,000 grams solid or over 400 grams liquid = Felony: Fine up to $15,000 and/or 8 years’ incarceration
It is a minor misdemeanor to possess cannabis paraphernalia in the State of Ohio. This crime is punishable by a fine up to $150. Offenders also face driver’s license suspensions between 6 months to 5 years and possible community service.
Medical Marijuana Patients
In Ohio, only patients participating in the state’s Medical Marijuana Control Program may legally possess cannabis. The amount they may possess at any given time has not been specified yet.
State-sponsored dispensaries can sell:
Selling Marijuana in Ohio
No person may legally traffic, distribute or sell cannabis in any form in Ohio. These offenders will be punished as follows:
- Gifting under 20 grams (first offense) = Minor misdemeanor: Fine up to $150 with no jail time and no criminal record
- Gifting under 20 grams (subsequent offense) = Misdemeanor: Fine up to $500 and up to 60 days’ incarceration
- Selling under 200 grams = Felony: Fine up to $2,500 and/or up to 12 months’ incarceration
- Between 200 to 1,000 grams = Felony: Fine up to $2,500 and/or up to 18 months’ incarceration
- Between 1,000 to 20,000 grams = Felony: Fine up to $10,000 and/or between 1 to 5 years’ incarceration
Between 20,000 to 40,000 grams = Felony: Fine up to $15,000 and/or between 5 to 8 years’ incarceration
- Over 40,000 grams = Felony: Fine up to $20,000 and/or mandatory minimum of 8 years’ incarceration
- Sell by person with previous drug conviction, sell within 1,000 feet of school, sell within 100 feet of minor or sell to minor = Felony: Increases both fine and incarceration term for related charge
Concentrates & Hash
It is a felony to sell any type of hash in Ohio, including both solid and liquid forms. These crimes are punishable as follows:
- Under 10 grams solid or under 2 grams liquid = Fine up to $2,500 and/or mandatory minimum sentence of 6 months to up to 1-year incarceration
- Between 10 to 50 grams solid or between 2 to 10 grams liquid = Fine up to $5,000 and/or mandatory minimum sentence of 6 months to up to 18 months’ incarceration
- Between 50 to 250 grams solid or between 10 to 50 grams liquid = Fine up to $10,000 and/or mandatory minimum sentence of 9 months to up to 3 years’ incarceration
- Between 250 to 1,000 grams sold or 50 to 200 grams liquid = Fine up to $10,000 and/or mandatory minimum sentence of 9 months to up to 3 years’ incarceration
- Between 1,000 to 2,000 grams solid or between 200 to 400 grams liquid = Fine up to $15,000 and mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years to up to 8 years’ incarceration
- More than 2,000 grams solid or more than 400 grams liquid = Fine up to $15,000 and/or 8 years’ incarceration
Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana in Ohio
According to Ohio state law, the penalties for cultivating, manufacturing or growing cannabis are identical to those for possession. These penalties are based on the weight of the product found. See “Possessing Marijuana in Ohio” for penalty details.
Ohio does allow for an affirmative defense for cultivating cannabis. This is only possible if the defendant can prove to the court that the marijuana was only intended for personal consumption. A successful defense may still lead to a misdemeanor conviction of illegal cannabis cultivation.
Concentrates & Hash
In Ohio, it’s a felony crime to manufacture hashish. This crime is punishable by a fine up to $15,000 and/or up to 8 years’ incarceration.
Medical Marijuana Patients
No home cultivation of cannabis is allowed in Ohio, not even for participants in the state’s medical marijuana program.
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Using Marijuana in Ohio
Ohio residents who wish to participate in the state’s Medical Marijuana Control Program must obtain medical marijuana patient cards. These cards are known as affirmative defense cards, which will be issued the state’s Board of Pharmacy. The registry is expected to be open to new applicants no later than September 2018.
Participating patients must get physicians’ recommendations certifying that they suffer from one of the following qualifying conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Spinal cord disease or injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
- Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Pain that is either of the following nature: (i) Chronic and severe; or (ii) Intractable
- Positive status for HIV
- Sickle cell anemia
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
Ohio state law provides limited protections for the state’s qualifying patients who use out-of-state sources to acquire medical marijuana; however, it was only valid until the state’s licensed dispensaries were operational.
Breaking the Marijuana Laws in Ohio
Anyone convicted of possessing a controlled substance in Ohio is subject to a 6-month to 5-year driver’s license revocation.
For an offense with a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge has no choice but to sentence the defendant to no less than the minimum mandatory allowed for that crime.