Commerce Department Releases Non-Medical Cannabis FAQs

[November 22, 2023]

House Bill 523, effective on September 8, 2016, legalized medical marijuana in Ohio, allowing people with certain medical conditions to purchase and use the substance. Now, recreational marijuana is about to be legal as a result of a statewide ballot issue that passed, 57%-43%.

As a result of the November 7 election, recreational marijuana by individuals over age 21 will be legal in Ohio. The ballot measure, which created the Division of Cannabis Control within Commerce, was an initiated statute that may be amended by the state legislature.

The Ohio Department of Commerce, which is responsible for the licensing and regulation of cultivators, processors, and testing labs for Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP), recently released online resources to address questions about non-medical cannabis.
According to Commerce, non-medical cannabis will not be immediately available to purchase in dispensaries and the general public is not currently permitted in dispensaries unless the individual is a registered patient or caregiver in the MMCP. There are currently no entities licensed to sell non-medical cannabis in the state. 
The new division inside Commerce has nine months to complete the rulemaking and licensing processes for non-medical cannabis. Sales of non-medical cannabis may not begin until licenses are issued and facilities are certified. The MMCP will continue to be administered by the Division of Cannabis Control and MMCP patients and caregivers are encouraged to keep their patient or caregiver card active.
The Department currently ensures that the medical marijuana industry is compliant with all state and local laws, ensuring businesses are on the right track and patients are protected. 

Pursuant to the biennial budget approved in July, all medical marijuana responsibilities, including the regulation of dispensaries and oversight of the Patient & Caregiver Registry currently managed by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, will be consolidated within the Department of Commerce on January 1, 2024.

Printer-Friendly Version