Cannabis cultivation in Cuyahoga County is legal for medical use but illegal for recreational use as with the rest of Ohio. According to the provisions of Section 2925.04 of the Ohio Revised Code, the cultivation of cannabis plants for recreational use in any part of the state (including Cuyahoga County) is prohibited. Ohio legalized medical marijuana in 2016 through HB 523. This Act established the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP) under the Ohio Department of Commerce and named the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to administer the state's medical marijuana program.
In Ohio and Cuyahoga County, it is illegal for registered medical marijuana patients or caregivers to grow marijuana plants at home. However, per the provisions of HB 523, licensed medical cannabis cultivators may grow marijuana plants in Cuyahoga County for sale to licensed medical marijuana processors or other cultivators. However, a medical cannabis cultivator cannot operate within 500 feet of a school, church, public playground, park, or library. Also, the provisions of HB 523 allow the local authorities of cities in Cuyahoga County to regulate or prohibit the commercial cultivation of marijuana plants for medical use within their borders.
According to Section 2925.04 of the Ohio Revised Code, the processing of cannabis for recreational use is illegal in all parts of Ohio, including Cuyahoga County. Nevertheless, the provisions of HB 523 allow licensed medical marijuana processors to purchase cannabis plants, manufacture cannabis products, and sell them to licensed medical cannabis dispensaries. Also, local authorities of the different cities in Cuyahoga County are allowed to establish ordinances for regulating cannabis processing activities or completely ban cannabis processing operations within their jurisdictions. Cannabis processors cannot operate within 500 feet of schools, churches, public libraries, playgrounds, or parks in Cuyahoga County.
The sale of cannabis products for recreational use is illegal in Cuyahoga County. However, according to HB 523, licensed medical marijuana dispensaries may sell medical marijuana products to registered medical cannabis patients and caregivers in Cuyahoga County. They may dispense marijuana products in various forms, such as oils, tinctures, patches, and edibles.
The delivery of cannabis products for medical use is legal in Cuyahoga County. The provisions of HB 523 allow licensed medical marijuana dispensaries to deliver marijuana products to registered medical marijuana patients. However, the delivery of marijuana products for recreational use is illegal in the county.
A medical marijuana identification card issued under the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP) allows a medical cannabis patient in Cuyahoga County to legally purchase medical cannabis products from dispensaries. As provided in HB 523, a person must be diagnosed with a severe medical condition before they can qualify for medical marijuana treatment in Cuyahoga County.
To apply for a medical marijuana card in Cuyahoga County, a person should see a certified physician to check if their medical condition qualifies them for medical marijuana treatment. If a physician recommends medical cannabis for a patient, they will register them in the patient and caregiver registry. A physician will need a patent's valid government-issued photo identification and email address when creating their profile in the patient and caregiver registry. After a patient's profile is created in the registry, they will receive an email prompting them to log in using their sign-up details and pay a $50 registration fee.
Medical marijuana patients in Cuyahoga County receive their medical marijuana cards via email from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. A patient may download a copy of their medical marijuana card and print a physical copy or save it on their mobile device or computer. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy provides medical marijuana card activation instructions for patients. A medical marijuana card applicant in Cuyahoga County may contact the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP) online to make medical marijuana card-related inquiries or call 1 (833) 6627-464. They may also make in-person inquiries with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy at:
State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy
77 South High Street, 17th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
According to a 2019 marijuana prescription report by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP), medical cannabis dispensaries in Ohio dispensed over $333,000 worth of cannabis products between January 16 and January 27, 2019. The OMMCP has not published more recent medical cannabis sales data. Nevertheless, the December 2019 report suggests that Ohios' counties, including Cuyahoga County, have benefited economically from medical marijuana legalization.
The crime reports published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reveal that the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office made three marijuana possession arrests in 2018 and two arrests in 2019. Also, the FBI reports show that the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office made one arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenses in 2018 and 2019. The FBI crime report does not indicate the number of arrests by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office for DUI or cannabis-related offenses before 2018. Nevertheless, 2018 and 2019 arrest figures suggest that medical cannabis legalization did not significantly affect crime rates in Cuyahoga County.