Ohio Marijuana Possession Laws

Is Possession of Marijuana Legal in Ohio?

No, possession of marijuana in Ohio is illegal. According to state law, no one is permitted to knowingly possess marijuana anywhere within the state, regardless of the amount in possession (Ohio Rev Code § 2925-11). Anyone caught in possession of up to 200 grams of marijuana within the state has committed a misdemeanor and may be required to pay a fine or be imprisoned for about 30 days. 

However, it is legal for registered patients with medical marijuana cards to possess marijuana in Ohio. Possession must be done in limited daily or 90-day quantities. The possession of marijuana for medical purposes became legal after the passing of House Bill 523 of the 131 General Assembly. Per the authorization, medical marijuana is available in the form of plant material, edibles, tinctures, oil, lotions, creams, and patches. The law forbids the use of medical marijuana through smoking or combustion. However, use by vaporization (vaping) is acceptable.

Patients with qualifying medical conditions, including cancer, seizures, glaucoma, terminal illnesses, and chronic pain, may register and legally possess medical marijuana in Ohio. However, the following restrictions apply: 

  • 2.83 grams (1/10 ounce) dried plant material per day.
  • 110 milligram (mg) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in edibles, capsules, tinctures, or other orally consumable cannabis products per day. 
  • 295 mg of THC in lotions, creams, ointments, and patches per day.
  • 590 mg of THC in oil for vaporization per day. 
  • Nine ounces of the marijuana plant material every 90 days.
  • Ten ounces of marijuana plant material every 90 days for patients diagnosed with terminal illnesses. 

How Much Weed Is a Felony in Ohio?

Although weed possession is illegal in Ohio, it does not become a felony until a person is caught with over 200 grams. The amount of marijuana on a person determines the severity of the penalty, ranging from jail term to fine payment or both. 

  • 200 to 999 grams: Anyone carrying this amount of weed in Ohio has committed a fifth-degree felony. This is punishable by up to one year of incarceration and up to $2,500 in fines. 
  • 1,000 to 20,000 grams: This offense is a third-degree felony that attracts a fine, imprisonment, and the possibility of community control. Depending on the amount of weed, the subject may face between one to five years jail term and a fine maximum fine of $10,000. 
  • 20,000 to 40,000 grams: Possessing this amount of weed in Ohio is a second-degree felony that attracts up to five years imprisonment. The maximum incarceration period is 8 years, and the person may face up to $15,000 in fines. 
  • More than 40,000 grams: This offense warrants at least eight years in jail and up to $20,000 in fines. 

What Are the Penalties for 1st Time Offense of Possession of Weed in Ohio?

The penalty for a first-time offender in Ohio is a misdemeanor, and the court will not impose a jail sentence. Instead, the accused will pay a fine and face other penalties, depending on the amount of marijuana in possession. Other factors that may determine the severity of penalties for a first-time offense of possession of weed in Ohio include the location of the arrest and the offender’s age. 

Where to Buy Legal Weed in Ohio

You can only buy legal weed in Ohio for medical purposes at state-licensed dispensaries. To register as a patient, a person must visit a certified physician who can confirm any qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Ohio. 

Upon confirmation, the physician will register the qualified patient into the Patient and Caregiver Registry. The annual cost for medical marijuana registration in Ohio is $50. After the complete registration, patients will receive a Patient & Caregiver Registry card, enabling them to purchase medical marijuana in permitted quantities. 

Patients can choose to buy legal weed in Ohio from any of the Medical Marijana Dispensaries with Certificates of Operation. Only patients with active registry cards, active recommendations, and government-issued IDs can buy legal weed in Ohio. 

How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy Weed in Ohio

You have to be 18 years or older to be able to buy medical marijuana in Ohio. Nevertheless, a minor with a qualifying condition can still access medical marijuana. In this case, the parents or legal guidance will be listed as the “caregiver,” and they can go to the dispensaries to purchase the required product on behalf of the underage patients. 

The physician in charge of this patient will register the parents or court-appointed guidance in the Patient and Caregiver Registry to enable them to buy medical weed on the minor’s behalf. 

How Much Weed Can You Carry in Ohio?

None. No one is allowed to carry weed in Ohio, regardless of the amount. Anyone caught with weed must have a medical marijuana card, and the amount in possession must not exceed the authorized quantity. 

However, Ohio has decriminalized carrying up to 100 grams of weed, tagging it a minor misdemeanor. The penalty for carrying up to 100 grams of weed in Ohio attracts a maximum fine of $150 (Ohio Rev Code § 2925.01, et seq.; Ohio Rev Code § 3719.01, et seq.).   

What Happens if You Get Caught With Weed Under 18 in Ohio?

Medical marijuana is permitted for children with the recommendation of a certified physician, and there is parental/guidance consent. Anyone under 18 caught with weed may be ordered into a diversion program specified by the court. The court will not enter a judgment until the minor completes the diversion program. 

Upon completing the diversion program, the court may dismiss the case and order that the child’s record concerning the possession case is sealed. On the other hand, the court will proceed with the complaint if the child fails to complete the diversion program satisfactorily. 

How Many Marijuana Plants Can You Have in Ohio?

None. Ohio law is against planting marijuana for personal, family, or household use. The state law disapproves the cultivation of marijuana plants in Ohio even if the person has the approval to buy medical marijuana. 

Per Ohio Rev Code § 2925.04, the consequences for the illegal cultivation of marijuana plants depend on the amount, if the offense was committed in a school vicinity, if it is a first-time offense, amid other circumstances. Generally, being caught with marijuana plants in Ohio is akin to intent to distribute or sell. The court will impose appropriate penalties on offenders. 

Meanwhile, the Ohio Department of Commerce licenses and regulates medical marijuana cultivators within the state. Authorized cultivators of medical marijuana in Ohio are classified into two levels. The state permits Level I cultivators to operate an initial marijuana cultivation area of 25,000 square feet. On the other hand, cultivators on Level II may not use more than 3,000 square feet to grow marijuana. Licensees may request for expansion once every twelve months. 

How Much Weed Can You Fly With from Ohio?

Marijana possession, use, distribution, and cultivation remain illegal under federal law. However, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) permits passengers to carry marijuana products that only contain less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis.

Otherwise, marijuana possession becomes an offense once a person steps into an airport. Federal marijuana conviction could lead to up to a one-year jail term, a 1,000 fine, or a combination of both. More severe convictions like possessing marijuana in commercial quantities come with harsher penalties. 

Is It Illegal to Be High in Public in Ohio?

No, it is not illegal to be high in public as an authorized user for medical purposes. Being stoned in public places is not illegal as long as there is not endangering themselves and others. Additionally, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal, and the person can be arrested and charged. Ohio has “per se” marijuana driving laws that make it unlawful to drive with weed in the system over the set limits. The limit is as follows:

Per millimeter of Blood:

  • Two or more nanograms of THC.
  • 50 or more nanograms of marijuana metabolite.
  • Five or more nanograms of metabolite in combination with alcohol or other drugs (including weed).

Per milliliter of Urine:

  • Ten or more nanograms of THC.
  • 35 or more nanograms of marijuana metabolite. 
  • 15 or more nanograms of metabolite in the combination of alcohol or other drugs (including weed).

Anyone found guilty of driving under the influence of weed or operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) will observe a mandatory jail term of three consecutive days (72 hours). In some cases, the court may include a jail term in addition to the 72 hours of mandatory incarceration. Notably, the court may replace the 3-day consecutive jail term with a community control sanction and subject the person to three consecutive days as a drivers’ intervention program. It is also common for the accused to have their driving license suspended for up to 90 days. 

In this section: