Clermont County Cannabis – Is It Legal & Where To Buy 2024

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Clermont County?

It is only the cultivation of cannabis for medical use in Clermont County that is legal by virtue of the State of Ohio’s Substitute House Bill (Sub. H.B.) 523 passed in 2016. Moreover, cultivation is limited to cannabis plants with a maximum of 35% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, according to Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 3796:2-2-07.

To cultivate medical cannabis commercially in Clermont County, businesses need to apply for a medical marijuana cultivator license to be granted by the Ohio Department of Commerce, the regulatory and licensing body for medical cannabis in the state. The Department manages the Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP).

A medical marijuana cultivator license at Level I or Level II may be applied for. A Level I license allows the bearer to cultivate up to 25,000 square feet of cannabis crops. Meanwhile, the holder of a Level II license is only permitted to have a cultivation area of up to 3,000 square feet in size. The Level II license holder may request to have their cultivation area increased, though, upon reaching the limit.

As of November 16, 2022, the MMCP issued [36 cultivator licenses]( Cultivator Licensees.pdf) across the state, of which 22 were Level 1 licenses and 14 were Level II licenses. There were no cultivator licensees in Clermont County.

A criminal history check is necessary for both the business owners who are requesting a license to cultivate medical cannabis and their staff members. A medical cannabis cultivation facility's site must be at least 500 feet away from a church, school, playground, public park, or library in order to receive a license.

The following non-refundable fees must be paid by applicants for and holders of licenses as medical cannabis cultivators:

Level I Level II
Application Fee $20,000 $2,000
Initial License Fee $180,000 $18,000
Annual License Renewal Fee $200,000 $20,000

OAC 3796:4-2-04 mandates that a random sample from each batch of cannabis it grows and harvests be taken by a medical cannabis cultivator licensee and submitted for analysis to an authorized independent laboratory. A batch of cannabis plants is defined by OAC 3796:1-1-01 as the same variety of cannabis plants that were cultivated and harvested at the same time and under the same circumstances. A batch is only allowed to include 15 pounds of dried flowers and buds or 25 pounds of other plant materials. The licensed medical cannabis cultivator is not permitted to sell the crops until the results of the batch testing are transmitted to the Ohio Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting & Compliance (METRC) system online.

The holders of a license to cultivate medical cannabis may only sell the plants and plant materials to other licensed medical cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, and dispensaries. They may not sell to medical marijuana cardholders.

OAC 3796:2-2-05 requires the cultivation facility to be protected by fences and locked, with only authorized persons given access to areas where medical cannabis plants or plant materials are present. A commercial-grade security system must be maintained that includes recorded date-and-time-stamped 24-hour video surveillance connected to the MMCP with footage kept for a minimum of 45 days, alarms that alert law enforcement, and adequate perimeter lighting.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Clermont County?

It is only the manufacturing of medical cannabis products in Clermont County that is legal as mandated by Sub. H.B. 523 of the State of Ohio. Furthermore, this is limited to the manufacturing of medical cannabis products with a maximum of 70% THC content, according to OAC 3796:3-2-07.

A medical marijuana processor license from the Ohio Department of Commerce is required by the MMCP for any business to manufacture medical cannabis products. The same background check and location requirements as those for the medical marijuana cultivation license apply.

The following non-refundable fees must be paid for the medical cannabis processor license:

  • Application fee: $10,000

  • Certificate of operation fee: $90,000

  • Annual renewal fee: $100,000

As of December 21, 2022, the MCCP issued statewide 44 processor licenses and two provisional licenses, none of which are in Clermont County.

OAC 3796:3-2-05 requires security measures similar to those for cultivation licensees. OAC 3796:5-2-01 adds that only visitors with official business must be allowed in, and they must register before entry with a valid government-issued ID in order to be given a visitor’s pass. When in a space where medical cannabis is present, they must remain escorted.

Before selling any medical cannabis product, licensed medicinal cannabis manufacturers are required by OAC 3796:3-2-06 to have a certified independent laboratory test random samples from every product batch.

OAC 3796:3-2-02 states that all medical cannabis products must be packaged in light-resistant, tamper-evident, and childproof containers. A label with the following information clearly printed on it must be attached to every package:

  • The licensed manufacturer's name and license number

  • The licensed purchasing dispensary's name and license number

  • The authorized testing facility's name and license number

  • The medical cannabis product name, type, and lot number

  • The medical cannabis product weight and quantity of the package content

  • The cannabinoid profile of the medical cannabis product

  • The method of medical cannabis extraction employed

  • The dates of the medical cannabis product's manufacturing, testing, and packaging

  • The medical cannabis product's expiration date, which must not be more than one year from the manufacturing date

  • The means of administration or ingestion of the medical cannabis product

  • All warnings required by the State of Ohio

  • Edible medical cannabis products must have the following added to their label:

    • Exhaustive list of ingredients

    • Presence of major food allergens

    • State-required warnings on delayed effects of ingested medical cannabis

Medical cannabis processor licensees are not allowed to sell to medical marijuana cardholders, but only to other medical cannabis processor licensees or dispensary licensees.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Clermont County?

It is only the retail selling of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products to medical marijuana cardholders in Clermont County that is legal as stipulated by Ohio’s Sub. H.B. 523. In compliance with OAC 3796:2-2-07 and OAC 3796:3-2-07, raw dried cannabis cannot have more than 35% THC content while medical cannabis products cannot have more than 70% THC content.

Furthermore, the company must be approved by the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy for a medical marijuana dispensary license. As of March 15, 2023, 68 certificates of operation for dispensaries were issued statewide, one of which is located in Clermont County.

OAC 3796:6-5-01 requires the payment of a $5,000 medical cannabis dispensary license application fee, a $70,000 certificate of operation fee, and a $70,000 biennial renewal fee, all non-refundable. To qualify for a license, a medical cannabis dispensary must be at a distance of 500 feet or more from a church, playground, library, park, or school. OAC 3796:6-2-02 and OAC 3796:6-2-07 require a criminal background check on the owners, board members, officers, and employees of a company applying for a dispensary license.

The medical cannabis dispensary is required by OAC 3796:6-3-16 to implement a 24-hour security system with motion sensors, various alarms connected to law enforcement, and continuous video surveillance stamped with the time and date of footage to be archived. There must be guards during operational hours. Only dispensary employees and medical marijuana cardholders are to be allowed entry.

While OAC 3796:8-2-06 permits licensed dispensaries to sell medical cannabis oils, tinctures, lozenges, capsules, sublingual films, dissolving tablets, salves, patches, strips, sprays, and edible goods, it limits the allowed THC content per dose or serving to a maximum of 55 milligrams. OAC 3796.06 adds medical cannabis for vaping and medical cannabis flowers, buds, trim, and shakes to items allowed for sale. Upon request by a dispensary, the selling of [medical cannabis devices]( licensee resources/forms and guidance for compliance upload portal/request to sell medical marijuana device.pdf) is also allowed. Not allowed for sale are forms of medical cannabis meant to be smoked or ingested through combustion, or any form that is attractive to children.

OAC 3796:6-3-08 mandates that licensed dispensaries can only sell to medical marijuana cardholders who can also present another valid government-issued photo ID. These are to be used to check their identity and age and for comparison against the online Patient and Caregiver Registry.

Under OAC 3796:7-2-04, the licensed dispensary can only sell a 90-day supply of medical cannabis to a medical marijuana cardholder for every 90-day period. This must be bought in two separate transactions with equal quantities. However, if the physician’s recommendation is new, the first purchase may be for a 46-day supply. The licensed dispensary is accountable for ensuring that every patient stays within the limits.

OAC 3796:8-2-04 breaks this down as follows:

Regular Patient Patient with a Terminal Illness
Plant material 9 oz or 254.7 grams 10 oz or 283.5 grams
Transdermal patch, cream, lotion, or ointment 26.55 grams of THC 29.5 grams of THC
Oil, tincture, capsule, or edible medical cannabis products 9.9 grams of THC 11 grams of THC
Oil for vaporization 53.1 grams of THC 59 grams of THC

Every purchase must be logged by the licensed dispensary in its internal inventory tracking system, which must be synced in real-time with the medical cannabis inventory monitoring system of the state.

To provide drive-through purchase services, a licensed dispensary must get the approval of the Board of Pharmacy. It must submit a site design with tighter security, such as the use of bullet-resistant glass.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Clermont County?

It is not legal in Clermont County for even licensed dispensaries to deliver medical cannabis and medical cannabis products to medical marijuana cardholders in accordance with the State of Ohio’s OAC 3796:6-3-08. Only the delivery of medical cannabis among licensed medical cannabis businesses is allowed.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Clermont County

Clermont County residents may get a medical marijuana card by applying to the MMCP. They must first be diagnosed by a physician with a certificate to recommend (CTR) from the State Medical Board of Ohio to have one of the medical conditions qualified for medical cannabis treatment. These are:

  • Tourette's syndrome

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Post‐traumatic stress disorder

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Chronic, severe, or intractable pain

  • Ulcerative colitis

  • Parkinson's disease

  • Positive HIV status

  • Sickle cell anemia

  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome

  • Hepatitis C

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Spinal cord disease or injury

  • Seizure disorder

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Glaucoma

  • Cancer

  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Crohn's disease

  • Alzheimer's disease

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  • Any additional medical condition identified by the state medical board adds

The physician will log into the Patient & Caregiver Registry to create the patient’s profile and send the recommendation for medical cannabis use. The physician will also specify if a caregiver is needed. The patient’s and caregiver’s respective valid government-issued ID cards and email addresses must be presented to the doctor.

The patient and caregiver will each get an email that activates the registration. They need to access their accounts, finish their applications, and pay either the $25 registration charge for caregivers or the $50 registration fee for patients.

Veterans and individuals who are considered to be impoverished are eligible for a 50% discount. The physician must indicate in the registry that they are requesting this reduction. Thereafter, they must use one of the following means to submit the necessary paperwork:


Mail: State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy

MMCP Patient Registry

77. S. High Street, 17th Floor

Columbus, OH 43215

The following must be submitted by veterans:

  • National Archives National Personnel Records Center Separation Report

  • National Guard Bureau Military Discharge Certificate, DD215, or DD214

  • ID from the Department of Defense

  • ID from the Department of Veterans Affairs

The following must be submitted by individuals receiving government aid due to poverty:

  • A personal identification document

  • Ohio State Retirement System monthly disability beneficiary documentation

  • Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) beneficiary documentation

  • Documentation of monthly benefits received from these programs for the year of application to the MMCP

The approved medical marijuana card will be available to the patient and caregiver [through the online registry for printing]( Reference Guide - Activating Your Medical Marijuana Card.pdf#:~:text=PLEASE%20NOTE%3A%20The%20Board%20of%20Pharmacy%20will%20not,you%20to%20purchase%20medical%20marijuana%20at%20a%20dispensary.).

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Clermont County?

In Ohio, medical marijuana is subject to the same 5.25% state sales tax as other goods, and municipal sales taxes ranging from 0.25% to 2.25%. The MMCP's [program update]( update.pdf) of February 21, 2023 states that as of February 19, medical cannabis product sales totaled $1.2 billion and its total receipts were nearly 9.27 million. Clermont County is receiving a portion of these earnings from one medical cannabis dispensary within its jurisdiction.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Clermont County

Medical cannabis was legalized in 2016 in Clermont County. Data from the Clermont County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Explorer page shows that a year before medical cannabis legalization in 2015, there were 95 marijuana offense arrests, with 93 for possession and two for manufacturing or sales.

A year after medical cannabis legislation, in 2017, there were 163 marijuana offense arrests, with 162 for possession and one for manufacturing or sales.

In 2018, there were 131 marijuana offense arrests, with 129 for possession and two for manufacturing or sales.

In the latest available data in 2021, there were 93 marijuana offense arrests, all for possession.

There were 15 DUI arrests in 2015, 13 in 2017, and 45 in 2021. There is no data on the number of DUI arrests in the county in 2018.

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Ohio Cannabis County Info