Yes. In Portage County, cannabis cultivation is permitted. While the use of marijuana for medical purposes became legal in Ohio in 2016, recreational marijuana remains illegal. According to House Bill 523, the Ohio Department of Commerce is in charge of regulating the state's medical marijuana cultivation.
There are two categories for cultivation permits:
Level I cultivators are permitted to employ an initial 25,000-square-foot marijuana cultivation facility.
Level II cultivators are allowed to employ an initial 3,000-square-foot marijuana cultivation facility.
Growing operations are not allowed to be situated within 500 feet of a public park, a church, a public playground, a public school, or a public library. Additionally, cultivators must obtain permission from the agency before changing the facility's usage or occupancy. It is also illegal for licensed cultivators to grow medical marijuana for personal or family use on public property (Section 3796.18).
Outdoor marijuana cultivation is legal as long as the area is well-lit and complies with the license application conditions.
Marijuana manufacturing is legal in Portage County, but only for medical use. Businesses that manufacture medical marijuana are governed by the Ohio Department of Commerce. Ohio has three basic types of manufacturers: stand-alone/independent businesses, plant-only processors that simply prepare marijuana plants and sell them to dispensaries, and vertically integrated manufacturing businesses (merged with other licensees).
An application for a processor license must contain the following:
$10,000 application fee that is not refundable
A detailed operational plan outlining the regulations to be followed
A business plan containing the entire name of the manufacturing applicant and the nature of the business entity
A quality assurance plan that specifies rules and procedures for the consistent and dependable supply of medical marijuana
A financial plan listing the members' names and ownership
A security plan that outlines security policies and procedures
Any other information that the Ohio Department of Commerce considers necessary
House Bill 523 bans the manufacturing of products that are enticing to minors and obliges processors/manufacturers to disclose the ratio of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol on product labels. Additionally, the manufacturing facility cannot be located within 500 feet of a playground, public park, public library, public school, or church. Furthermore, the law prohibits children from having access to marijuana items.
Yes, retail sales of medical marijuana are permitted in Portage County, but only patients with valid medical referrals or caregivers who have registered under the medical marijuana program are allowed access to dispensaries.
According to the Ohio Administrative Code, only dispensing facilities that have sought the Ohio Board of Pharmacy for a valid operating certificate are allowed to run medical marijuana retail businesses. THC content for marijuana extracts must be 70% or less, and THC concentration for marijuana plant materials distributed in Ohio must be 35% or less. The following medical marijuana products are available in Ohio: tinctures, oils, edibles, patches, plant materials, and edibles.
Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries are permitted to sell or dispense medical marijuana between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Businesses that sell medical marijuana are not allowed to ship their product outside of Ohio.
House Bill 523 also specifies that although medical marijuana vaporization is permitted, smoking is not. It should be noted that new and additional methods to use medical marijuana may be recognized by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
Storage rooms must be kept in temperatures and lighting regimes that ensure the potency of medical marijuana before usage. All storage areas for medical marijuana must be organized, dry, sanitary, well-lit, and well-ventilated. These dispensaries must undergo regular inspections and testing by the Ohio Pharmacy Commission.
In Portage County, delivery of medical marijuana from dispensaries to patients with medical marijuana ID cards is not allowed. According to Rule 3796:6-3-22, Section J, only caregivers may deliver medical marijuana to patients after they purchased the product from dispensaries. Delivery of medical marijuana from growers to processors and from processors to retail businesses is also permitted.
Medical marijuana businesses are required by Ohio Administrative Code to ensure the security and safety of the areas where deliveries are conducted. A video surveillance system must also be set up to monitor the delivery area. Personnel from authorized cultivators, retailers, and manufacturers are the only ones who have access to these delivery locations.
In order to get an Ohio medical marijuana card, you must:
Reside in Ohio
In accordance with the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, have a physical evaluation
Have a qualifying health condition, such as:
Positive status for HIV
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Spinal cord disease or injury
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Sickle cell anemia
Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
Traumatic brain injury
Inflammatory bowel disease
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Intractable or severe, chronic pain
To apply for an Ohio medical marijuana card, follow the procedures below:
Create a Patient and Caregiver Registry profile by seeing a licensed doctor who can verify that you have one of the eligible health conditions.
Finish signing up for the Patient and Caregiver Registry.
Purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary that holds an Ohio Board of Pharmacy license.
All persons under the age of eighteen (18) years must have parental or guardian consent, be in possession of a valid photo identification and have their parents or guardians apply to become designated caregivers. The maximum quantity of medical marijuana a patient or caregiver may purchase is a 90-day supply.
To learn more about the Ohio medical marijuana program, you may contact:
Ohio Medical Marijuana Program
77 South High Street, 17th Floor, Columbus, OH,
43215, United States, Ohio
Ohio levies a 5.75% sales tax on medical marijuana. A historical sales report from the Ohio Department of Commerce shows a considerable increase in medical marijuana sales since the state's first dispensary opened in 2019. Sales of products were $5.2 million in April 2019 and reached an incredible $954 million in August 2022. According to the study, medical marijuana sales should boost the state's economic output from 2019 to 2022.
Despite the fact that recreational marijuana use is currently illegal in Ohio, research by the University of Akron School of Economics concluded that the state would have reaped over $444 million in net benefits from legalizing the drug. The study also shows that allowing marijuana consumption for recreational purposes would boost tax receipts and job opportunities.
The State of Ohio approved medical marijuana in 2016. Data gathered from the Portage County Sheriff's Office in the FBI crime report showed a decrease in DUI cases from 2015, 2016, to 2017— from 353 to 302 and 290 arrests, respectively. Whereas marijuana arrests in Portage County increased in 2015, 2016, and 2017— from 275 arrests to 379 and 378, respectively.