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Recreational Marijuana in Ohio

by Michael E. Cicero

On December 7, 2023, Ohio became the 24th state to enact legalized recreational marijuana, which permits adults aged 21 and above to cultivate, purchase, use, and gift marijuana products. Previously, Ohio limited marijuana use for medicinal purposes only.

How much can I have? How much can I grow?

Persons aged 21 and above may possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower and 15 grams of cannabis extracts (i.e. tincture, gummies, vape pens). With limitations, persons aged 21 and above may grow up to 6 plants at their place of residence. Marijuana plants must be out of public view. A residence with two or more persons aged 21 and above will be permitted to have up to a maximum of 12 plants.

Where can I buy marijuana?

Marijuana remains a federally scheduled drug and is still illegal to transport across state lines. Therefore, it is illegal to go to another state (like Michigan), buy it, and bring it back to Ohio for your use. Currently, the only way to legally obtain recreational marijuana in Ohio is to either: (1) grow it yourself, or (2) receive it as a gift from someone who has grown it legally. Recreational sales in Ohio are not expected to begin until the latter half of 2024 as the newly established Division of Cannabis Control will not begin issuing licenses for recreational sale until 2024. Medical marijuana dispensaries will not be able to sell recreationally until their respective operating licenses are converted by the Division of Cannabis Control to do so.

Can I order it online?

Federal law prohibits ordering marijuana products through the mail. Advertisements have confused consumers into thinking they can buy online, however, that is only available in certain states, like Michigan, where you can pre-order or do delivery from an actual dispensary within the state.

Where can I smoke?

It is unlawful to smoke marijuana in public areas. Keep your smoking to private property, out of the view of the public.

What can’t I do?

Similar to Ohio’s intoxicating liquor restrictions, it remains illegal for persons under the age of 21 to possess, cultivate, use, or transport marijuana products. Also, similar to the “keg laws” prohibiting parents and guardians from hosting underage drinking on their private property, it is unlawful for any parent or guardian to permit the use of cannabis at their residence, or any other private property, by an invited guest,
who is under 21 years of age. It remains illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. Furthermore, it is illegal to smoke, vaporize, or use any other combustible form of cannabis while in a vehicle, regardless of whether the vehicle is moving or not. Everything outlined here is subject to change. The Ohio Legislature has proposed numerous amendments since recreational marijuana became legalized. We do not know what will change, or when, and it is your responsibility to stay updated on the law.

by Michael E. Cicero

  • Law Director & Prosecutor – Village of Hunting Valley
  • Assistant Law Director & Prosecutor- City of University Heights
  • Assistant Law Director and Assistant Prosecutor – City of South Euclid
  • Assistant Solicitor & Building/Housing Prosecutor – Village of Newburgh Heights
  • Prosecutor – Villages of Gates Mills, Hunting Valley and Mayfield