Ohio medical marijuana law was enacted in May 2016 and becomes effective Sept. 8, 2016.

NOTE!: This page has not been updated in more than a year… revisions in progess.

The law passed through the legislature as HB 523  and was signed by Governor Kasich. Ironically, motivation for passing the bill  was partially a response to a failed disingenuous ballot initiative in 2015 that would have amended the state’s constitution to give exclusive licensing privileges only to the wealthy investors and land-owners who drafted the initiative. It would have become a bad, discriminatory law. Threatened by the prospect of such a highly flawed model succeeding, Ohio lawmakers approved HB 523 so that licensing can be conducted through a fair and competitive process that many parties participate in.

Regulation of intrastate industry

HB 523 delegates authority to two state agencies for adopting and enforcing regulations for the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.

Ohio Department of Commerce: The Commerce Department receives authority over cultivators, processors, and testing laboratories. The Department is granted 240 days from the law’s effective date (Sept. 8) to complete regulations for cultivators. It has one full year to complete regulations for processor and testing laboratories.

The law established criteria for Dept. of Commerce to consider when deciding the number of cultivator and processor licenses to award, but otherwise leaves the decision largely up to agency discretion.

Ohio Board of Pharmacy: The State Board of Pharmacy receives authority over dispensaries, patients, physicians, and caregivers. The Board has one full year to complete regulations for all of delegated rulemaking responsibilities.

Qualifying Medical Conditions

HB 523 contains a specific list of conditions for which a physician can certify a patient’s use of medical cannabis.

  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Alheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Chronic pain or severe pain
  • Intractable pain
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Positive status for HIV
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sick cell anemia
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Any other disease or condition added by the state medical board under section 4731.302 of the Revised Code.

Section 4731.302 is a mechanism for residents to submit petitions requesting that other specific ailments be added to the list.