Line wraps around the building of Ohio medical marijuana dispensary on the first day of legal sales. Source: Kayvan Khalatbari of Denver Relief Consulting

In the first few weeks of 2019, Ohio made history as the 32nd state to enact a medical marijuana program. Let’s take a moment to unpack Ohio marijuana laws.

Ohio’s medical marijuana law, House Bill 523, passed in 2016 by voters and signed into law by then-Governor John Kasich (R). This medical marijuana bill came after a failed 2015 attempt to legalize recreational cannabis use in Ohio, which failed on a margin of 64 to 36 percent. OH’s medical cannabis law also comes in the midst of this important context: Ohio is ranked in the top five states for opioid overdoses, with many of the state’s communities ravaged by the epidemic.

Ohio Marijuana Laws – The Basics

According to Ohio marijuana laws, medical marijuana patients with one of 21 qualifying conditions can purchase cannabis products from licensed dispensaries. The only permitted cannabis products in Ohio are:

  • dibles,
  • oils,
  • patches,
  • and vaporizing.

The law does not allow cannabis flower or other smokables like pre-roll joints. It also does not include any sort of home grow rules.

OH medical marijuana patients can possess up to a 90-day supply.

Ohio Marijuana Laws – Qualifying Conditions

There are 21 total qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in OH. A diagnosis of at least one of the following conditions is required to legally purchase cannabis products from licensed dispensaries.

  • AIDS,
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,
  • Alzheimer’s disease, cancer,
  • chronic traumatic encephalopathy,
  • Crohn’s disease,
  • epilepsy or another seizure disorder,
  • fibromyalgia,
  • glaucoma,
  • hepatitis C,
  • 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,
  • spinal cord disease or injury,
  • Tourette’s syndrome,
  • traumatic brain injury,
  • and ulcerative colitis.

Ohio Marijuana Laws – Medical Marijuana Card

You must be a registered medical marijuana patient to purchase legal cannabis in Ohio. The process is handled by the OH Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP), which distributes all medical marijuana cards in the state.

Here are the three basic steps you must follow to successfully become a registered medical marijuana patient.

  1. Visit a certified physician who can confirm your diagnosis of a qualifying medical condition.
  2. If the physician certifies the diagnosis, they will then create your profile in the OMMCP Patient & Caregiver Registry.
  3. Once your name is the system, you can purchase medical marijuana from a licensed medical marijuana dispensary in Ohio.

There is some important additional information all potential or current OH medical marijuana patients should know:

  • An annual in-person visit with a certified physician is required to retain your medical marijuana status in Ohio.
  • A medical marijuana patient must have a valid Ohio ID or driver’s license, issued by the Ohio BMV, or a valid U.S. passport.
  • Not every doctor is a certified physician that can add you to the OMMCP portal. To be certified, a doctor must complete at least two hours of continued medical education on diagnosing qualifying conditions.
  • Currently, there are 139 certified physicians for medical marijuana in the state of Ohio.

Current OH medical marijuana patients, or those interested, can get additional information on Ohio’s medical marijuana program here.

Applying for an Ohio Marijuana Dispensary License

Want to apply for an Ohio dispensary license? To open a medical marijuana dispensary in OH, you’ll need to go through a lengthy licensing process. We’ll break that process down into its simplest form below.

Things to Know: Marijuana License OH

  • The Ohio Board of Pharmacy divided the state into 31 medical dispensary districts. A certain number of dispensary licenses are allotted to each district based on size and population.
  • Applicants are limited to five licenses across the state (66% of licenses in a single district)
  • Currently, not all districts have an operating dispensary. According to the OMMCP, some districts received no applications and others had no viable applicants.
  • All dispensaries that are currently operating are doing so on a provisional license. That means these dispensaries have six months to prove their ability and competence when it comes to running their store and complying with Ohio dispensary laws.
  • To date, the OMMCP has distributed 56 provisions licenses.

Applying for a Provisional Dispensary License OH

The application process for a medical marijuana dispensary license in Ohio is a lengthy one, as it is in most states with these kinds of programs. There are two main parts of the application. According to the OMMCP, applicants must include documentation demonstrating:

  • The individuals associated with the applicants did not plead guilty to or were not convicted of a disqualifying offense;
  • The proposed dispensary location is at least 500 feet from a prohibited location;
  • Compliance with tax laws;
  • Established minimum capital requirements;
  • and proper zoning approval.

Secondly, the application also includes a section that has “scorable” questions. This section of the application is scored on a 1-10 scale.

  • Business Plan (26% of total evaluation score)
  • Operations Plan (52% of total evaluation score)
  • Patient Care Plan (22% of total evaluation score)

The OMMCP includes their evaluation framework, full application examples, and redacted approved applications. You can get all the information you need on the dispensary license application in Ohio here.

And if you have any additional questions about protecting your Ohio cannabis brand, or Ohio medical marijuana dispensary, get in touch with Gleam Law. As one of the leaders in cannabis law, with offices in four states, we can help guide you through cannabis licensing and brand protections.