Ohio Marijuana Limitations

What Happens if I am Under 21 and Caught Carrying or Using Cannabis?

Possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana is a minor misdemeanor in Ohio. The punishment for a minor misdemeanor possession of marijuana is a $150 fine. The court will not impose prison terms on first-time offenders. Possession of 100 grams or more but less than 200 grams is a 4th degree misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by up to 30 days in prison, a fine of up to $250, or both. If you are found with more than 200 grams of marijuana, you will be charged with a felony marijuana possession crime.

For juveniles, marijuana possession and possession of paraphernalia are misdemeanors in most instances. Typical sentences include 6 months to 5-year license suspensions, $100 - $250 fines, probations, random urine screens with probation officers, and drug abuse convictions on offenders' permanent records. In addition, grants, scholarships, and certain student loans are at risk of being lost.

Where is it Legal to Smoke Weed in Ohio?

Marijuana smoking or combustion is prohibited in Ohio, even if it is medicinal marijuana. The legislation states that a vape device is prohibited if the marijuana comes into direct contact with the heating equipment or if it becomes hot enough to burn the plant. However, vaporization of cannabis flower is allowed in Ohio under Section 3796.06 of the Ohio Revised Code.

The major reasons against marijuana smoking are that it is appealing to children, is a potential health risk, and may be harmful to specific compounds found in marijuana flowers. The health hazards of consuming medicinal marijuana are also taken into account. Both the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the American Lung Association (ALA) believe that smoking marijuana is hazardous to both the smokers and those around them. In addition, the intense heat has been found to destroy certain chemicals in marijuana when smoked. For instance, Terpenes are the chemicals in cannabis responsible for the plant's fragrance. Terpenes have been thought to produce many therapeutic effects when ingested. Hence, when marijuana is smoked, some of the chemicals are broken, nullifying their possible effects.

Can I Leave Ohio with Cannabis?

No, you cannot leave Ohio with cannabis. Although cannabis has been legalized in several states, it remains a prohibited drug under the federal Controlled Substance Act. While federal authorities have declared they will turn a blind eye to the state initiatives permitting marijuana use within their borders, they still enforce the laws where they have jurisdiction. One of such instances is in interstate commerce. The federal government has jurisdiction when anything crosses state borders; so, when marijuana crosses interstate lines, it falls within the jurisdiction of federal authority.

Regardless of the laws in the state you are coming from or the one you are traveling to, crossing state lines with cannabis violates federal law, and you risk being charged with a crime. Even if you possess a medical marijuana card and intend to use the drug, you can be arrested and charged with drug trafficking for crossing state lines. Federal agents do not recognize the medical marijuana laws or cards of any state. Travels with marijuana into federal lands such as national parks within Ohio are also illegal.

If you plan to travel to another state where marijuana is legal, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the laws of that state before traveling. It is easier to purchase marijuana at your destination rather than travel with marijuana. Note that some states with legal medical marijuana programs allow for reciprocity, that is, your Ohio medical marijuana card may be accepted in those states.

For air travelers, even though the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not search for marijuana, air travel is still regulated by agencies including the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). If a TSA officer suspects illegal activity, you may be detained, and the matter referred to state law enforcement. Hence, ensure you do not inadvertently travel with marijuana.

Will Cannabis Affect My Driving Record in Ohio?

An Ohio DUI or OVI, as it is more commonly called in the state, is a serious offense. A conviction will negatively impact all other areas of your life, including your permanent criminal record. You will also face increased insurance rates or be unable to obtain insurance, difficulty keeping or finding a job, complications with financial aid, troubles maintaining professional licensures, and potential custodial issues relating to your children or dependents. If you have a DUI violation, insurance companies may consider you as riskier to insure or even refuse coverage.

Penalties for operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) of marijuana are similar to those stipulated for driving under the influence of alcohol. The penalties are set forth under Ohio's OVI statute – R.C. 4511.19.

  • For first-time OVI offenders: A fine ranging from $375 to $1,075, at least three days (and up to 6 months) in prison, or both, and a license suspension ranging from one year to three years. The prison time is often spent in a 72-hour driving intervention program conducted at a nearby hotel. If the court gives a restricted license with unrestricted driving privileges and an ignition interlock device on their car, the suspension may be cut in half (1-year suspension to 6 months).

  • Second-time OVI offenders: A person convicted of a second offense OVI within 10 years faces a fine of between $525 and $1,625, at least ten days in prison (20 days if a high test or previous refusal within 20 years), or both, and a license suspension of one to seven years.

  • For third-time OVI offenders within 6 years or 10 years of April 6, 2017: A person convicted of a third OVI within 6 years (or 10 years after April 6) will face a fine of between $850 and $2,750, at least 30 days (and up to a year) in jail, or both, and a license suspension of between 1 and 12 years.

Can I Get a DUI if I Drive While I am High?

It is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of a "drug of abuse," according to Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19(A). Any prohibited substance, hazardous drug, or prescription medicine that may impair judgment or reflexes is considered a "drug of abuse." As a result, a motorist in Ohio may be charged with OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence) for driving under the influence of marijuana.

When a law enforcement officer stops a motorist, the officer's interaction with the driver may cause the officer to believe the driver is under the influence of a controlled substance. For instance, if the officer notices that the driver has glassy eyes, slurred speech, erratic behavior, or slow responses. To prove that you are guilty of an OVI charge, the prosecution is required to prove that you consumed a drug of abuse and that the drug affected your nervous system, brain, or muscles, so as to impair your ability to operate a vehicle.

Even if you were not impaired by consuming marijuana, you could still be found guilty of OVI "per se". In Ohio, it is illegal per se to operate a vehicle with a prohibited level of certain drugs in your system, even if those drugs were not impairing your ability to drive. When a law enforcement officer stops a driver for suspicion of driving while impaired, the driver may have to undergo field sobriety tests.

The following are per se limits for marijuana in Ohio as established in Sections 4511.19(A)(1)(j)(vii) and (viii) of the Ohio Revised Code Sections:

  • Blood tests: 2 or more nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood or 50 or more nanograms of metabolite per milliliter
  • Urine tests: 10 or more nanograms of THC per milliliter of urine or 35 or more nanograms of metabolite per milliliter.

When there is probable cause for arrest and a driver is investigated for operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs, the officer has the driver perform sobriety tests. Sobriety tests are commonly performed on the field at the scene before the driver is arrested. After arrest, the driver is taken for additional testing which may be done in the form of drug recognition evaluation.

There are three forms of standardized sobriety tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test: This is an involuntary shaking of the eyeball when it travels to the side. A law enforcement officer will ask you to follow a pen or other stimulus with your eyes to test for HGN. The officer is not just looking to see whether you follow the pen, but also to see if you have nystagmus. The officer looks for nystagmus in three distinct methods and records a "clue" for each instance of nystagmus. The officer examines each eye separately, thus there are a total of six potential "clues." If the police notices four or more "clues," you will almost certainly be arrested.
  • The Walk and Turn (WAT) exam requires you to stand on a line, take nine steps (heel-to-toe) down the line, turn about, and take nine steps back. If you lose your balance during the instructions, start too early, fail to touch heel-to-tee, stop walking, step off the line, raise your arms for balance, turn incorrectly, or take an incorrect number of steps, the officer will give you "clues." If the police officer notices two "clues," you will almost certainly be arrested.
  • The One Leg Stand (OLS) test: To conduct this test, the officer will ask you to lift one leg so your foot is approximately 6" off the ground and stand on the other leg with your arms at your sides for 30 seconds while counting loudly. If you wobble, use your arms for balance, jump, or put your foot down, the officer scores "clues." If the police officer notices two or more "clues," you will almost certainly be arrested.

Following standardized tests, law enforcement agents may utilize other non-standardized assessments. These are some examples:

  • Backward counting
  • Reciting a portion of the alphabet
  • Converging the eyes.
  • Putting a finger to one's nose
  • Estimating 30 seconds with the eyes closed
  • Sequentially touching the fingers together.

Law enforcement officers often use the results of the standardized tests, the non-standardized tests, and other observed evidence to determine whether to arrest the driver and charge the driver with OVI. The results of those tests are admissible in court to prove the driver's guilt.

After a driver has been arrested, additional tests carried out are typically blood and urine tests. Blood and urine samples are subjected to chemical testing to determine the type and quantity of drugs in the sample. Two chemical tests administered on blood and urine samples in Ohio are

  • An initial test using one analytical technique
  • A confirmation test using a different analytical technique

Six analytical techniques may be used on the samples collected. The ones most often used in Ohio are chromatography and mass spectroscopy. Any tests done must be carried out in accordance with regulations issued by the Ohio Department of Health to be admissible in court.

Can I Buy Medical Marijuana in Ohio?

You can legally buy medical marijuana in Ohio if you are 18 years and older and suffer from one of the qualifying conditions. Ohio requires residents to obtain medical marijuana cards in order to legally purchase medical marijuana. To obtain a medical marijuana card, you must consult with a medical marijuana doctor who will evaluate your ailment and register you with the state as an approved patient if you are determined to qualify. Only doctors approved by the State Medical Board of Ohio are permitted to recommend medical marijuana. You will need to prove Ohio residency for your application to be successful.

You can also purchase medical marijuana in Ohio if you are a caregiver. Caregivers are designated individuals who provide healthcare assistance to qualified medical marijuana patients by helping them obtain and administer marijuana treatments. A caregiver must be an Ohio resident aged 21 years or older. Ohio caregivers must be listed on the patients' certifications and cannot care for more than two patients at a time.

Qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use in Ohio are:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Cachexia, wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain (Severe/Intractable)
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
  • Epilepsy (Seizures)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Huntington's Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Spasticity
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Terminal Illness
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Where Can I Buy Medical Marijuana in Ohio?

Medicinal marijuana can only be purchased at licensed medical dispensary locations in Ohio. Marijuana products are of various forms, including flower, lotion, lotions, patches, tinctures, sweets, and concentrated oils. The legislation prohibits any form that is appealing to children. Forms of medicinal marijuana are as permitted under Ohio Administrative Code rule 3796:8-2-01. In addition to storefront sales, several dispensaries in Ohio provide curbside pickup.

Ohio currently has 57 licensed dispensaries selling medical marijuana. You can find their locations by using the dispensary location tool on the Ohio medical marijuana website. In order to resolve issues relating to travel distance to dispensaries, prices, and supplies, Ohio is looking to expand the number of dispensaries from 57 to 130 and spread the new dispensary locations evenly across the state.

How Much is Medical Marijuana in Ohio?

Marijuana products in Ohio vary by product type, location, and the dispensary where the purchase is being made. For instance, processed products such as edibles may cost more by weight than plant materials, which also vary in price, depending on the strain and other properties. Also, each dispensary has the right to price products however they wish. Typically, higher quantities of cannabis flower are more costly compared to other products, as well as concentrates.

When the first dispensaries in Ohio opened in January 2019, an ounce of marijuana plant material averaged $428 per ounce. In December 2020, the same quantity went for $284. Currently, the estimated average price of medical marijuana products in Ohio is $18 per gram. Unprocessed marijuana flower may be bought at approximately $11 per gram.

The average price of marijuana at an Ohio dispensary in 2019 was $18.47 per gram. The average price dropped to $18.18 in 2020.

According to a recent survey by the Ohio medical marijuana program, 60% of the survey participants said they pay up to $299 a month on medical marijuana.

In Ohio, the average prices for marijuana products are:

  • Flower: $30
  • Edibles: $25
  • Tinctures: $30
  • Vaporizer cartridges: $35
  • Concentrates: $45
  • Topicals: $30

You are likely to find medical marijuana products at cheaper prices due to the periodic promotions offered by many dispensaries in Ohio.

How Much Cannabis Can I Legally Have?

The Ohio MMCP has placed limits on the quantity of marijuana that a patient may buy in a 90-day period. The quantities vary depending on the kind of medicinal marijuana bought. A 90-day supply of medicinal cannabis may consist of several forms, but the overall 90-day supply must not exceed a 90-day supply - whether bought as a single form or aggregated across forms.

The Ohio administrative code states that "a patient may buy no less than a full day unit at a single time." The definition of "a full day unit" differs depending on the form of marijuana.

In a single visit, medical marijuana users or their caregivers may buy the following items:

At least one of the following, referred to collectively as a "full day unit":

  • 2.83 g, often known as "the Ohio tenth"
  • THC content of 110 mg in oil, tincture, pill, or edible (50 mg per edible)
  • 295 mg of THC in the form of a patch, lotion, cream, or ointment
  • 590 mg of THC in vaporizing oil

The state considers a 90-day supply to be no more than one of the following:

  • 8 ounces of Tier 1 flower, which has a THC level of 23% or less

  • 8 ounces of Tier 1 flower, which has a THC level of 23% or less

  • THC concentration of 26 and 55/100 g in patches for transdermal usage or lotions, creams, and ointments

  • 9 and 9/10 g of THC content in a medical marijuana oil, tincture, pill, or edible form that is to be taken orally

  • THC content of 53 and 1/10 g in medicinal marijuana oil for vaporization

From April 2020, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy simplified the process of patients, caregivers, and dispensaries to calculate days' supply. Each medical marijuana patient's recommendation is now divided into two 45-day fill periods based on the patient's current, active recommendation. Patients may now buy a complete 45-day supply regardless of when they visit the dispensary during that 45-day timeframe. For example, if a patient enters the dispensary on day 25 and has not yet bought any medical marijuana products during the current fill period, the patient may buy up to a 45-day supply of medicinal marijuana.

If you buy your 45-day allocation before the end of your current fill period, you must wait for the next period to start before buying more marijuana. It is important to note that there is no rollover from one fill period to the next. If you do not buy any medical marijuana products during your current 45-day fill period, you will be limited to a 45-day supply when the next fill period begins.

The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy provides a tool to help medical marijuana patients in the state understand their purchase tracking and calculate the start and end dates for their next eight 45-day fill periods.

Where is Weed Legal?

State Legal Status Medicinal Recreational
Alabama Criminalized No No
Alaska Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arizona Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arkansas Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Colorado Decriminalized Yes Yes
Connecticut Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Delaware Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
District of Columbia Decriminalized Yes Yes
Florida Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Georgia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Hawaii Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Idaho Decriminalized No No
Illinois Decriminalized Yes Yes
Indiana Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Iowa Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Kansas Decriminalized No No
Kentucky Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Louisiana Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Maine Decriminalized Yes Yes
Maryland Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Massachusetts Decriminalized Yes Yes
Michigan Decriminalized Yes Yes
Minnesota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Mississippi Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Missouri Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Montana Decriminalized Yes Yes
Nebraska Decriminalized No Yes
Nevada Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Hampshire Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Jersey Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Mexico Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New York Decriminalized Yes Yes
North Carolina Decriminalized No Yes
North Dakota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Ohio Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Oklahoma Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Oregon Decriminalized Yes Yes
Pennsylvania Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Rhode Island Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
South Carolina Decriminalized No No
South Dakota Decriminalized Yes Yes
Tennessee Decriminalized No No
Texas Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Utah Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Vermont Decriminalized Yes Yes
Virginia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil Yes
Washington Decriminalized Yes Yes
West Virginia Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Wisconsin Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Wyoming Decriminalized No No
In this section:
Ohio Marijuana Limitations