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Ohio Has Legalized Marijuana for Medical Usage Only


By Adair Smith

Cincinnati Employment Law Newsletter
December 13, 2018

Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 523 into law in June 2016, legalizing the use of marijuana for these qualifying medical conditions: HIV/AIDS; Alzheimer’s disease; ALS; cancer; CTE; Crohn’s disease; epilepsy; fibromyalgia; glaucoma; hepatitis C; inflammatory bowel disease; multiple sclerosis; pain that is chronic and severe; Parkinson’s disease; PTSD; sickle cell anemia; spinal cord disease or injury; Tourette’s syndrome; traumatic brain injury; and ulcerative colitis. The Ohio law allows state-run or licensed growing facilities and retail dispensaries to sell medicinal marijuana to qualifying individuals. There are 56 licensed dispensaries approved to sell medical marijuana, most located in northeast and central Ohio. The Ohio statute only permits medical marijuana in "edible, oil, vapor, patch, tincture, and plant matter form," so smoking marijuana and home cultivation of cannabis remains illegal.

House Bill 523 was expected to be operational by September 2018; however, due to delays medical marijuana is not yet available in Ohio. It is anticipated that House Bill 523 will be fully in effect by December of 2018 or early 2019.