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  • Christopher D.

The Future of Recreational Marijuana in Ohio

Ohio is on the brink of a new era as the voter-approved initiative legalizing recreational marijuana, known as Issue 2, takes effect. However, the path to legal sales is not without its twists and turns. In this blog post, we will explore the current status of recreational marijuana in Ohio, when and where Ohioans can expect to purchase it, and why, amidst this shift, medical marijuana remains a valuable choice. We will delve into the scheduling information, taxation, and the interplay between recreational and medical marijuana.

The Current Landscape

Issue 2, approved by 57% of Ohio voters on November 7, legalizes the sale, purchase, and possession of marijuana for individuals aged 21 and older. While this marks a significant milestone, the final implementation of the initiative is subject to the decisions of state lawmakers.

The Ohio Statehouse is currently navigating two competing bills, House Bill 86 and House Bill 354, to determine the specifics of Issue 2's enactment. Governor Mike DeWine has expressed support for House Bill 86, emphasizing its role in preventing a potential black market for marijuana. However, conflicting opinions among legislators persist, raising questions about whether the final outcome will align with voters' intentions.

Issue 2 allows adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrate, and permits the cultivation of up to six plants per individual or 12 per household. House Bill 354 maintains these guidelines, but House Bill 86 proposes reducing the number of allowable marijuana plants to six per household, while previously considering repealing the home-grow provision altogether.

Dispensary Access and Rulemaking

Despite the legalization of recreational marijuana, dispensaries are not immediately open for sales. The Division of Cannabis Control has nine months to establish rules and licensing procedures before sales can commence. House Bill 86 suggests a workaround by allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana to individuals aged 21 and older, potentially expediting the buying and selling process.

House Bill 86 permits smoking, vaping, and combustion of marijuana only within a private residence. Public smoking and smoking in vehicles are prohibited, and landlords retain the right to disallow smoking. Employers can establish and enforce drug testing policies, drug-free workplace policies, or zero-tolerance policies, potentially leading to job termination for marijuana use.

Criminal Record Expungement and Taxes

While Issue 2 does not automatically erase prior marijuana-related criminal records, House Bill 86 proposes expunging convictions for possessing 2.5 ounces of marijuana or less. This provision aims to address the legal consequences of past offenses and facilitate a more equitable transition to legalized marijuana.

Issue 2 proposes a 10% excise tax on marijuana purchases, along with a 5.75% state tax and additional local taxes ranging from 0.25% to 2.25%. Medical marijuana program participants would be exempt from this tax. In contrast, House Bill 86 suggests increasing the excise tax to 15%, with revenue allocation primarily directed to law enforcement training, substance abuse treatment, safe driving training, and the General Revenue Fund. House Bill 354 maintains a 10% excise tax but includes provisions for local municipalities to have greater control over tax revenue use.

Protecting Minors and Advertising Restrictions

Both House Bill 86 and House Bill 354 incorporate measures to shield minors from marijuana advertising, prohibiting packaging that resembles cartoon characters or figures appealing to children. Restrictions on content and advertising placement near schools and churches are modeled after regulations for alcohol and tobacco.

While Ohio moves forward with the legalization of recreational marijuana, it's essential to note that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. Federal laws still apply, making the purchase of marijuana in another state and bringing it back to Ohio or any other state illegal, despite the state's legalization.


As Ohio transitions into a landscape where recreational marijuana is legal, the journey is marked by legislative negotiations, rulemaking, and potential shifts in taxation and revenue distribution. Amidst this transformation, medical marijuana continues to play a crucial role in providing a regulated and therapeutic alternative. Individuals are encouraged to stay informed about the evolving regulations and consider the benefits of obtaining a medical marijuana card. 

The interplay between recreational and medical marijuana programs highlights the importance of making informed choices tailored to individual needs. The road to recreational marijuana in Ohio is unfolding, promising economic opportunities, social equity initiatives, and a new era for cannabis enthusiasts.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Today!

Ohio continues to expand its medical marijuana program and make residents’ lives easier by passing new progressive legislation. The addition of new qualifying conditions means that many more people will now be eligible for their medical card.

If you think you could benefit from medical cannabis, there is a good chance you qualify!

You need your medical card to access any of Ohio’s medical dispensaries. Not to worry, because it is now easier than ever to get your card with Ohio Marijuana Card!

In Ohio, there are many conditions that may make you eligible for medical marijuana, and we hope the program continues to expand by adding more conditions soon! If you have questions about whether you qualify, we can help with that too!

In order to visit a dispensary in the State of Ohio, you will need your medical marijuana card. With telemedicine, you can even get your card from the comfort of your own home!

If you don’t already have your card, we can help! You can even have your appointment and get your recommendation on the same day!

Schedule an appointment with one of our physicians today to see if you qualify.


Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

Here at Ohio Marijuana Card, our goal is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

If you have any questions, call us at (866) 457-5559, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!


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