While recreational cannabis usage remains federally illegal in the USA, many states have passed laws making either (or both) medicinal and recreational weed consumption legal. Ohio is one of those states.

In today's article, we are going to dive deep into the world of cannabis legality in Ohio, and answer the following questions:

  • Is medicinal cannabis legal in Ohio?
  • Is the recreational use of weed allowed?
  • What are the laws surrounding possession and cultivation?

Let's get into it. But before we do, a quick history lesson.

The History Of Marijuana In Ohio

First becoming an official state of the USA in 1800 when the Northwest Territory was divided, Ohio has had a long and complicated relationship with cannabis. In 1931, Ohio was among the first states to make marijuana illegal, with the rest of the country (and large swathes of the Western world) following in quick succession. Cannabis possession, usage, and distribution remained highly illegal all the way up until 1975.

While the mid-70s brought change, it did not bring full legalization. In late August 1975, Governor James Rhodes signed a bill that essentially decriminalized the possession of up to 100 grams of dried weed, and heavily reduced the punishment for people caught with of more than 100 grams but less than 200 grams.

2015 saw a failed ballot attempt to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, with the vote failing by quite a significant margin (65–35). This was followed up in 2016 by a successful push for medicinal marijuana, with Governor John Kasich signing the bill into law in June of that year.

2023 saw a successful vote to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state of Ohio. From December 7th, 2023, adults are legally allowed to buy and possess cannabis up to a certain amount and can legally grow their own plants at home.

Yes, the legalization of recreational weed was approved in a ballot proposal by voters on November 7th, 2023. This means adults aged 21 and over can legally buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and grow up to six plants per person at home or 12 plants per residence (where there's at least two adults residing). Ohio became the 24th state to allow recreational cannabis and the bill takes effect on December 7th, 2023.

Do You Need A Medical Marijuana Card In Ohio?

Medicinal weed came into effect in 2016. There is a wide range of medical issues that will qualify you to become a legal medicinal cannabis user, but the process is more involved than just wandering into your local dispensary and complaining about a sore back.

How Do You Get A Medical Marijuana License In Ohio?

First up, you must be suffering from one of the 25 qualifying conditions for a doctor to even consider prescribing medicinal cannabis. This list may grow in the future.

If you have been diagnosed with one of the 25 health conditions, you then need to

  • Be above the age of 18, or have an assigned caregiver who is at least 21 years of age.
  • Be an Ohio resident with proof of residency.
  • Collect all the supporting documents (ie. medical records) to verify that you are indeed suffering from a qualifying condition.
  • Meet with a certified medical marijuana doctor who will evaluate your condition and issue a recommendation if he/she feels it is necessary.
  • This recommendation will serve as a secondary form of proof that you are an approved medical cannabis patient in Ohio.
  • The doctor will contact the State Board of Pharmacy who will process your recommendation and add you to the Patient Registry
  • You will then receive an email containing a link to download your registry card which you will be able to use at any state-licensed dispensary. The fee for your card is $50, although that may be halved for "patients who qualify for disabilities, social security or supplemental income (SSI/SSDI), or veteran status."

And that's it! Receiving a medical marijuana card in Ohio is a straightforward and easy-to-understand process, and once you have received your card, you may legally purchase medicinal cannabis from any state-licensed dispensary.

They certainly are, as long as you hold a valid medical marijuana card. You can purchase edibles from any state-licensed dispensary, along with many other forms of medicinal marijuana.

Can You Lose Your Job For Smoking Weed In Ohio?

This is still unclear as the bill to legalize marijuana in Ohio is yet to take effect. This is planned for December 7th, 2023, after which there will be more clarity on what the legalization means from a workplace perspective.

So, can you lose your job by smoking weed in Ohio?

This is still to be determined, pending the upcoming passing of the legalization bill on December 7th, 2023.

What Is The Law On Possession And Growing Weed In Ohio?

From December 7th, 2023, Ohio residents aged 21 and over are legally allowed to buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. Home growing is also allowed - up to six plants per person or 12 plants per residence.


Both recreational and medicinal cannabis is legal in the state of Ohio. A ballot proposal was approved by voters on November 7th, 2023 to legalize the use of recreational cannabis. This will take effect on December 7th, 2023. Adults can legally buy and possess cannabis up to a certain amount and can also grow up to six plants per person at home.

Medicinal marijuana has been legal in the state since 2016. Adults who are suffering from qualifying medical conditions can gain access to medicinal marijuana. After meeting with a certified doctor and obtaining your medical card, you can legally buy cannabis products from state-licensed dispensaries.