Short answer: H.B. 523 (2016) made Ohio the 25th state in the United States to legalize marijuana. Get to know other laws related to Medical Marijuana Program in Ohio. 

Medical marijuana is legal in the state of Ohio. Like any state with legal medical marijuana, however, Ohio has specific laws governing its medical marijuana program with detailed rules and regulations for its participants to abide. The following is an overview of the most pertinent of those rules and regulations.

A Brief Overview of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Law

Under increasing pressure from activists and the prospect of a ballot measure in that year’s November state elections, legislators took preemptive action in May 2016 and enacted H.B. 523, making Ohio the 25th state in the United States to legalize marijuana. Ohio Governor John Kasich signed the bill into law on June 8, 2016.

On September 8, 2016, Ohio’s medicinal marijuana law went into effect. The process of enacting Ohio cannabis legislation began at that time. According to the recently established marijuana legislation in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Commerce (DOC) has about one year to complete that task. During that period, the DOC established the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program to develop and administer rules and regulations to implement Ohio marijuana law.

Legal Safeguards

Patients who use medicinal marijuana in Ohio have specific legal safeguards under state law.

  • Child custody – In cases of child custody, registered patients and those they designate as caregivers are protected from discrimination, arrest, or punishment based on their medical marijuana patient status.
  • DUI – The fact that a person is a registered medical marijuana patient or the caregiver of one is not enough for law enforcement officers to begin a DUI inquiry. 
  • Housing – A person’s housing cannot be denied solely because he or she is a medical marijuana patient or caregiver.
  • Health Care Legal Protections – It is prohibited in Ohio to discriminate against a fully registered medical marijuana patient or caregiver who is seeking an organ transplant.
  • Employment – While an employer is not compelled by law to accommodate an employee’s medical marijuana use, companies are not allowed to discriminate against any candidates for employment based solely on their status as medical marijuana patients or caregivers.

Who Can Recommend Medical Marijuana Legally in Ohio

Not all physicians can recommend medical marijuana in Ohio, even if they’re licensed in Ohio. Firstly, they have to be licensed as a DO or MD. Secondly, they have to be certified by the state to recommend medical marijuana to patients, or Certified To Recommend (CTR.) If your doctor is not CTR, you can look for another licensed Ohio physician who is CTR to provide your medical marijuana recommendation and set up your Registry profile, or you can visit and have them put you in touch with one right away.


Procedures to Obtain an Ohio Medical Marijuana Card 

To legally purchase, possess and use medical marijuana in the state of Ohio, you must hold a valid, active and unexpired medical marijuana card issued to you by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. To obtain this card, these are certain steps that vary in number and type depending on the medical marijuana card for which you are applying.

For Adult Patients

If you are an adult 18 years of age or older with a medical condition that qualifies for medical marijuana in Ohio, you only need to complete a couple of steps to get your adult patient card:

  1. See a certified doctor to verify you have a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Ohio and, if you do, to create your profile in Ohio Medical Marijuana Program Patient and Caregiver Registry.
  2. Visit the Patient and Caregiver Registry to confirm and complete your program registration, including paying the corresponding fee.

Within 15 days after completing these steps, you will receive your card in the email account you’ve associated with your Patient Registry profile.

Note that you must complete your registration within 90 calendar days of receiving the initial physician’s recommendation for medical marijuana. If you do not complete your registration, including paying the corresponding fee, in this time, you will need to start the application process all over again, including having another visit with your qualified medical provider to get a new and current recommendation.

For Minor Patients

If you are a minor under 18 years of age, you need to have a parent or other legal guardian authorize your use of medical marijuana. Both you and your parent or guardian must apply for your own separate cards at the same time. As you apply for a minor patient card, your parent or guardian must apply for a guardian card on your behalf. A separate fee is required for each of these cards.

You and your parent or guardian must have a valid, government-issued photo ID in order to get your respective cards. Once you have your cards, your parent or guardian will be the one going to the licensed Ohio pharmacies to purchase your medical marijuana, as no one under 18 is legally allowed entry into an Ohio pharmacy.

Note that Ohio medical marijuana law prohibits the sale of any form of medical marijuana that could be considered attractive to children.

For Caregivers

In order to get a medical marijuana caregiver card in Ohio, the patient for whom you serve as a caregiver must first let his or her medical provider know that he or she wants you to be his or her caregiver. Then, the medical provider will input your name and information into the patient’s profile in the Patient and Caregiver Registry. Once this is done, you can then log in to the Registry and complete your registration, including paying the required fee. You must have a valid, government-issued Ohio photo ID in order to get a caregiver card.

A caregiver card entitles you to purchase and possess medical marijuana on behalf of the patient associated with your card. It does not, however, allow you to purchase or possess it for any other patient, and it doesn’t allow you to use medical marijuana.

Note that medical marijuana caregivers in Ohio must be at least 21 years old.

Read more: How to get a medical card in Ohio (the full list of requirements and qualifying conditions).

Renewal Requirements

A medical marijuana card is valid for one year in Ohio, expiring on the last day of the issuing month. The law requires the State Board of Pharmacy to notify patients 45 days in advance of their card’s expiration.

To renew a medical marijuana card in Ohio, a patient must visit again with a certified physician to approve the renewal. Then, the patient needs to pay the corresponding fee and, if necessary, upload an updated photo ID.

Caregivers and guardians cannot renew their card until and unless the patient associated with that card completes his or her renewal.

Read also: A Step-By-Step Procedure of Marijuanas Card Renewal in Ohio. 

Quantity Restrictions

Even with an Ohio medical marijuana card, a person can’t purchase or possess all the medical marijuana they want. There are limits. A patient, or that patient’s guardian or caregiver, can only purchase and possess up to a 90-day supply of medical marijuana for that patient. If a caregiver serves more than one patient, he or she can only carry up to the aggregate amount that each patient is authorized to possess.

Patient Confidentiality

By law, all information pertaining to medical marijuana patients in Ohio, including their names, ages, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, doctor’s names and qualifying diagnoses are strictly confidential. The only times such information can be revealed is to a witness in an administrative hearing or a representative of record, such as the recommending physician him or herself.



Fortunately, you may obtain a medical marijuana recommendation without leaving the comfort of your own home. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program makes it lawful in 2020 for medical marijuana doctors to conduct examinations and write the recommendations required for a patient to acquire a medical marijuana card entirely online, using telehealth.

Read more: Compare MMJ cards prices and get to know what is more beneficial – doctor visit in person or telemedicine. is the place to go if you want to discover a medical marijuana doctor who makes recommendations online. Almost immediately after signing up, you’ll be placed in touch with a licensed Ohio medical marijuana doctor through videocall. The doctor will give you detailed advice on medical marijuana use, dosage, and strains, as well as tell you whether you can apply for a medical card in Ohio. Don’t hesitate, get professional advice by clicking the button below.