Ohio Cannabis Laws Every Dispensary Must Know

Ohio cannabis laws

🎉 Congrats, Ohio...Adult-use cannabis passed!

On November 7, 2023, Ohio voted in favor of Issue 2, which effectively legalizes cannabis for adults 21 and over. However, these adults will have to wait 30 days, until December 7, 2023, before the law takes effect.

On and after December 7, Ohio adults 21 and over can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis in plant form or up to 15 grams in extract form and grow up to six marijuana plants per adult (capped at 12 plants per household).

In January 2019, Ohio's medical marijuana program took effect. Initially passed under House Bill 523 in 2016, the program was intended to be fully operational by September 2018. However, due to a handful of obstacles, the actual sale of medical cannabis was postponed until the beginning of 2019.

Most recently, Ohioans voted in favor of Issue 2, legalizing adult-use cannabis across the state. Issue 2 is a citizen initiative, meaning Ohio lawmakers can propose and pass modifications to the new law after the election.

Until those adult-use regulations are set in stone, this resource will cover the state's current medical marijuana laws.

[Medical] Ohio Cannabis Laws at a Glance

  • The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy licenses and regulates medical marijuana dispensaries.

  • The state of Ohio utilizes Metrc to implement a robust track-and-trace system for its cannabis program.

  • Ohio dispensaries can provide medical marijuana to qualified patients and designated caregivers who are 18 years of age or older.

  • All dispensary employees must receive foundational training before dispensing medical marijuana.

  • A dispensary must electronically transmit specific information to the state board of pharmacy within five minutes of dispensing any medical marijuana.

  • Ohioans can possess only as much cannabis as is defined as a 90-day supply in Ohio.

Licensing

Legal reference

(A) Only a provisional dispensary licensee who has obtained a certificate of operation from the state Board of Pharmacy may sell or dispense medical marijuana to qualifying patients and designated caregivers who are registered with the board. (B) The board will not consider an incomplete application submitted in response to a request for applications issued pursuant to rule 3796:6-2-01 of the Administrative Code. To be considered complete, an application submission shall include all the following: (1) The completed payment of the relevant application fee; (2) An application on a form in accordance with section 3796.10 of the Revised Code. The application shall include: (a) The name of the provisional dispensary applicant, as reflected in the articles of incorporation or other documents filed with the secretary of state; (b) The type of business organization of the provisional dispensary applicant, such as individual, corporation, partnership, limited-liability company, association or cooperative, joint venture, or any other business organization; (c) Confirmation that the provisional dispensary applicant has registered with the Ohio secretary of state as the applicable type of business; (d) A copy of the provisional dispensary applicant's articles of incorporation, articles of organization or partnership, or joint venture document of the provisional dispensary applicant; (e) The physical address where the proposed dispensary will be located; (f) The physical address of any co-owned or otherwise affiliated marijuana entities, including both licensed and prospective entities, including cultivators, processors, testing labs, dispensaries, or applicants for any other such license or certificate; (g) The mailing address of the provisional dispensary applicant; (h) The telephone number of the provisional dispensary applicant; (i) The electronic mail address of the provisional dispensary applicant; (j) Proof establishing that the provisional dispensary applicant owns or controls through a leasehold interest in all real property where marijuana will be dispensed, or a signed, notarized statement from the owner of such real property that the owner will grant a leasehold interest to the applicant if a provisional dispensary license is issued to the applicant; (k) A professionally prepared survey of the area surrounding the prospective dispensary that establishes the facility is at least five hundred feet from the boundaries of a parcel of real estate having situated on it: (i) A prohibited facility, pursuant to section 3796.30 of the Revised Code; or (ii) An opioid treatment program as defined in rule 4729:5-21-01 of the Administrative Code. (l) Notwithstanding rule 3796:5-5-01 of the Administrative Code, five hundred feet will be measured using the shortest distance between the closest point of the external boundaries of a parcel of real estate having situated on it any facility described in paragraph (B)(2)(k) of this rule and the external boundaries of the parcel on which the prospective dispensary would be situated. (m) Evidence that the provisional dispensary applicant is in compliance with all local ordinances, rules, or regulations adopted by the locality where the provisional dispensary applicants property is located, which are in effect at the time of the application, including copies of any required local registration, license, or permit of the locality where the provisional dispensary applicant's property is located. (n) The signature of an authorized natural person on behalf of the provisional dispensary applicant as described in rule 3796:6-2-03 of the Administrative Code, attesting that the information provided to the board in the application for a provisional dispensary license is true and correct at the time of signing.

(A) Every dispensary certificate of operation issued pursuant to this division shall expire on the first day of July of every odd-numbered year regardless of the date on which the certificate of operation was renewed. (B) Every dispensary issued a certificate of operation pursuant to this division shall submit the following to the state board of pharmacy at least forty-five calendar days prior to the date the existing certificate expires: (1) A completed medical marijuana dispensary renewal application; (2) A roster that includes all the dispensary employees names and dispensary employees' license numbers; (3) Documentation sufficient to establish that the applicant is in compliance with the applicable tax laws of this state; (4) The required fee; and (5) Any additional information or documentation required by the board. (C) A renewal application shall be accepted no earlier than ninety days prior to the date the existing certificate expires on a date determined by the board's director of licensing. (D) If the premises on which the dispensary operates are leased, the renewal application must include an attestation that the premises identified on the application have been leased for the following two-year licensing term and is not subject to any contractual restrictions that would prevent it from operating in compliance with Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code and this division. (E) A dispensary is only permitted to renew its certificate of operation with the existing ownership and location as originally awarded with the certificate or any subsequent approval by the board. A dispensary that is eligible to apply for a change of ownership pursuant to rule 3796:6-2-12 of the Administrative Code or a relocation pursuant to rule 3796:6-2-13 of the Administrative Code must request such changes separate from the renewal application. (F) If the dispensary is operated in compliance with Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code and this division, and the renewal fee is paid, the state board of pharmacy shall renew the certificate of operation, to be effective on the expiration date of the previous certificate of operation. Upon receipt of a renewal application, the state board of pharmacy shall consider (1) The dispensary's history of compliance with regulations promulgated under this division of the Administrative Code; (2) The number and severity of any violations; (3) The correction of violations, penalties, or other enforcement actions; and (4) Any additional criteria deemed necessary by the state board of pharmacy. (G) The state board of pharmacy may deny a dispensary certificate of operation renewal application due to: (1) Failure to pay the renewal fee; (2) Poor compliance history; (3) Criminal violations with a nexus to the dispensary's operation; (4) Discipline issued for violations of Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code or this division; or (5) Any additional criteria deemed applicable by the state board of pharmacy. (H) (1) A dispensary certificate of operation renewal application that is filed less than forty-five days prior to the expiration date of the dispensary's certificate will only be considered complete with the payment of the required late fee, in addition to the required application fee. (2) The state board of pharmacy shall renew a dispensary's certificate of operation that files a renewal application less than forty-five days prior to the expiration date of the dispensary's certificate, subject to paragraph (F) of this rule, within thirty calendar days after the expiration date of the certificate. (3) A dispensary certificate of operation that is not renewed by the expiration date shall be considered lapsed. (4) A dispensary shall not purchase, receive, sell, or dispense any medical marijuana while the certificate of operation is lapsed. (I) (1) If a dispensary certificate of operation renewal application is not filed prior to the expiration date of the dispensary's certificate, the certificate of operation will be deemed expired. (2) A dispensary shall not purchase, receive, possess, sell, or dispense any medical marijuana with an expired certificate of operation. (3) A dispensary that allowed its certificate of operation to expire and wishes to resume operations as a licensed dispensary under Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code and this division shall apply for a license in accordance with rules 3796:6-2-01 and 3796:6-2-02 of the Administrative Code.

Dispensary application forms must include the following:

  • Name of the provisional dispensary applicant as reflected in official documents

  • Type of business organization

  • Confirmation of registration with the Ohio Secretary of State

  • Copies of relevant legal documents

  • The physical address of the proposed dispensary and any affiliated marijuana entities

  • Mailing address, telephone number, and email address of the provisional dispensary applicant

  • Proof of ownership or leasehold interest for the real property where marijuana will be dispensed

  • Professionally prepared survey showing at least a 500 feet distance from restricted facilities or opioid treatment programs

  • Compliance with local ordinances, rules, and regulations

  • Signature of an authorized representative

At this time, the Board of Pharmacy is not currently accepting additional applications for licensed dispensaries. To get updates on new application periods, sign up for updates on the MMCP homepage.

Dispensary certificates of operation in Ohio expire on the first day of July every odd-numbered year, regardless of the date of renewal.

To renew a dispensary certificate of operation, the following must be submitted to the state board of pharmacy at least 45 days before the expiration date:

  • Completed medical marijuana dispensary renewal application

  • A roster of dispensary employees' names and license numbers

  • Documentation proving compliance with applicable tax laws

  • Required renewal fee

Renewal applications are accepted no earlier than 90 days before the existing certificate expires. If the dispensary operates on leased premises, the renewal application must include an attestation that the premises have been leased for the next two-year licensing term.

Dispensaries can only renew their certificate of operation with the same ownership and location as originally awarded. Any changes in ownership or relocation must be requested separately.

The State Board of Pharmacy may deny a renewal application due to:

  • Failure to pay fees

  • Poor compliance history

  • Criminal violations related to the dispensary's operation

  • Discipline for violations

  • other applicable criteria.

If a certificate is not renewed by the expiration date, it is considered lapsed, and the dispensary cannot legally operate.

Dispensary employee training

Legal reference

(A) A dispensary-designated representative shall establish and oversee a dispensary employee training program. (B) Each dispensary shall maintain evidence of all training provided for every dispensary employee in its files. Such records are subject to inspection and audit by the state board of pharmacy. Acceptable forms of evidence are (1) Transcripts; (2) Certificates of completion; or (3) another form of documentation that includes: (a) The participant's name; (b) Course title; (c) Course content; (d) Date(s) of training; (e) Provider's name(s); and (f) Signature of the course instructor. (C) All dispensary employees shall receive foundational training regarding the dispensing of medical marijuana before dispensing any medical marijuana. All dispensary employees with access to confidential patient information and/or the patient registry shall receive foundational training pursuant to subsection (5) even if not dispensing medical marijuana. Training received in accordance with this paragraph does not qualify as continuing education described in paragraphs (D) and (E) of this rule. Mandatory training for dispensary employees before the employee may begin dispensing medical marijuana includes (1) Relevant training on the drug database established pursuant to section 4729.75 of the Revised Code; (2) Relevant training on the inventory tracking system established pursuant to section 3796.07 of the Revised Code; (3) Responsible use training, which shall include specific instruction on (a) Use of the toll-free telephone line established pursuant to section 3796.17 of the Revised Code; and (b) Learning to recognize signs of medicine abuse or adverse events in the medical use of marijuana by a patient. (4) The proper use of security measures and controls that have been adopted by the dispensary for the prevention of diversion, theft, or loss of medical marijuana; (5) Confidentiality requirements of a dispensary; (6) Instruction on the different forms, methods of administration, and strains of medical marijuana; (7) Instruction on qualifying conditions for medical marijuana patients; (8) Authorized uses of medical marijuana in the treatment of qualifying conditions; (9) Instruction regarding regulatory inspection preparedness and law enforcement interaction; (10) Awareness of the legal requirements for maintaining status as a licensed dispensary employee, including but not limited to the duty to report information to the board; and (11) Other topics as specified by the state board of pharmacy. (D) Dispensary employees who dispense medical marijuana shall receive a minimum of sixteen hours of continuing education, on topics described in paragraph (E) of this rule, for each two-year licensing period. Continuing education hours shall not be carried over from one licensing period to another. A dispensary employee who is licensed within six months of a dispensary employee biennial renewal cycle shall be exempt from continuing education requirements. (E) The designated representative shall be responsible for ensuring that each dispensary key and support employee who dispenses medical marijuana receives continuing education on the following subjects during each biennial licensing period: (1) Guidelines for providing information to patients and caregivers related to the risks associated with medical marijuana, including possible drug interactions; (2) Guidelines for providing support to patients related to the patient's symptoms; (3) Recognizing signs and symptoms of substance abuse; (4) Guidelines for refusing to provide medical marijuana to an individual who appears to be impaired or abusing medical marijuana; (5) The safe handling of medical marijuana, including an overview of common industry hazards, current health and safety standards, and dispensary best practices; (6) Legal updates training pertaining to the Ohio medical marijuana control program; and (7) Other topics as specified by the state board of pharmacy. (F) Before any training in paragraphs (C) and (E) of this rule may be provided to dispensary employees for credit, a designated representative shall submit, in a manner determined by the board, all of the following items to the state board of pharmacy and obtain approval: (1) Names and qualifications of the persons responsible for training content; (2) The agenda with a detailed time schedule; (3) A set of training materials; and (4) Any other items requested by the state board of pharmacy. (G) Before training may be provided to dispensary employees for credit under paragraphs (C)(3)(b), (C)(7), and (E)(1) to (E)(4) of this rule, a designated representative shall submit, in a manner determined by the board, all of the following to the state board of pharmacy: (1) A signed attestation by the person responsible for training content that the person or persons responsible for the content of the educational materials is a pharmacist licensed under Chapter 4729. of the Revised Code, or any of the following professionals authorized to prescribe under division (I) of section 4729.01 of the Revised Code: (a) A clinical nurse specialist or certified nurse practitioner; (b) A physician; or (c) A physician assistant; (2) The professional license number of the person or persons identified in paragraph (G)(1) of this rule; and (3) That the person or persons approve of the content.

All dispensary employees must receive foundational training before dispensing medical marijuana.

A dispensary-designated representative is responsible for establishing and overseeing a dispensary employee training program. Dispensaries have to maintain evidence of training provided to every dispensary employee in their records.

Acceptable evidence of the training program includes:

  • Transcripts

  • Certificates of completion

  • Other documentation containing participant information

Mandatory dispensary employee training includes:

  • Relevant instruction on the drug database

  • Inventory tracking system

  • Responsible use

  • Security measures

  • Confidentiality requirements

  • Forms and strains of medical marijuana

  • Qualifying conditions

  • Authorized uses

  • Regulatory inspection preparedness

  • Law enforcement interaction

This training does not qualify as continuing education.

Dispensary employees who dispense medical marijuana must also complete a minimum of sixteen hours of continuing education during each two-year licensing period.

Continuing education topics include:

  • Guidelines for patient information

  • Symptom support

  • Recognizing substance abuse signs

  • Refusal of medical marijuana to impaired individuals

  • Safe handling practices

  • Legal updates, and other topics specified by the board

Before providing training for credit, the designated representative must submit:

  • Names and qualifications of the training personnel

  • An agenda with a detailed time schedule

  • Training materials, and any other items requested by the board to obtain approval

  • A signed attestation by a licensed pharmacist or authorized prescriber, including their professional license number, indicating their approval of the training content

Advertising and marketing

Legal reference

(A) For purposes of this rule "advertisement" means any written or verbal statement, illustration, or depiction created to induce sales through a combination of letters, pictures, objects, lighting effects, illustrations, or other similar means. An "advertisement" includes brochures, promotional material, and other marketing materials. An advertisement that renders medical marijuana or medical cannabis products attractive to children is prohibited. (B) The state of Ohio has a compelling interest in ensuring that any advertisement or marketing campaigns related to or involving medical marijuana do not encourage, promote, or otherwise create any impression that marijuana is legal or acceptable to use in a manner except as specifically authorized under Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code, or the rules promulgated in accordance with Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code, or that recreational marijuana use has any potential health or therapeutic benefits, or that recreational marijuana use or possession is somehow legal. (C) A dispensary shall not use a name, logo, sign, or advertisement unless the name, logo, sign, or advertisement has been submitted to the state board of Pharmacy and the applicable advertising approval fee has been paid. Materials submitted to the board shall include, but are not limited to (1) A brief description of the format, medium, and length of the distribution; (2) Verification that an actual patient is not being used on the advertisement; (3) Verification that an official translation of a foreign language advertisement is accurate; (4) Annotated references to support statements related to effectiveness of treatment; and (5) A final copy of the advertisement, including a video where applicable, in a format acceptable to the board. (D) Until September 8, 2019, the state board of pharmacy shall have fifteen business days to review materials submitted under paragraph (C) of this rule. Beginning September 9, 2019, the board shall have ten business days to review materials submitted under paragraph (C) of this rule. (1) After the state board of pharmacy reviews the proposed advertisement, the board may: (a) Require a specific disclosure be made in the advertisement in a clear and conspicuous manner if the advertisement would be false or misleading without such a disclosure; (b) Make recommendations with respect to changes that are necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare; or (c) Prohibit the use of the advertisement. (2) If the state board of pharmacy does not complete one of the actions permitted under paragraph (D)(1) of this rule within the applicable review period, the submitted materials may be used in accordance with this division. Failure by the board to act within the applicable review period, however, does not constitute a waiver of its authority to undertake any of the actions permitted by this rule and the rules promulgated pursuant to Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code, if it is subsequently determined that the submitted material violates any provision of this Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code or this division. (E) No dispensary shall place or maintain, or cause to be placed or maintained, an advertisement of medical marijuana or medical marijuana products, including paraphernalia, in any form or through any medium: (1) Within five hundred feet of the perimeter of a prohibited facility, a community addiction services provider as defined under section 5119.01 of the Revised Code, a game arcade admission to which is not restricted to persons aged twenty-one years or older, or any other location where the placement of the advertisement targets or is attractive to children, as determined by the state board of pharmacy; (2) On a billboard; (3) On a radio or television broadcast; (a) A radio or television broadcast includes a system for transmitting sound alone or visual images and sound; and (b) Includes broadcast, cable, on-demand, satellite, or internet programming; (4) On any handheld or other portable sign; (5) With respect to public places, on a handbill, leaflet, or flyer directly handed, deposited, fastened, thrown, scattered, cast, or otherwise distributed to any person; (6) Left upon any private property without the consent of the property owners; (7) On or in a public transit vehicle or public transit shelter; or (8) On or in a publicly-owned or operated property. (F) An advertisement for a dispensary, regardless of the medium, shall not: (1) Include any image bearing a resemblance to a cartoon character, a fictional character whose target audience is children or youth, or a pop culture icon; (2) Market, distribute, offer, sell, license or cause to be marketed, distributed, offered sold or licensed, any apparel or other merchandise related to the sale of marijuana, to an individual under eighteen years of age. (3) Contain any statement, design, representation, picture, or illustration that is: (a) False or misleading; (b) A departure from the medical marijuana registered name, including, marijuana leaves, slang terms, and similar references; (c) Disparaging to a competitors products; (d) Obscene or indecent; or (e) Related to the safety or efficacy of marijuana, unless supported by substantial evidence or substantial clinical data. (4) Suggest or otherwise indicate that the product or entity in the advertisement has been approved or endorsed by the Department of Commerce, the state board of Pharmacy, the State of Ohio, or any person or entity associated with the State of Ohio; or (5) Encourage the use of medical marijuana for a condition other than a qualifying medical condition. (G) A dispensary may develop a website or otherwise establish a web presence advertising the name, business address, contact information, and services provided by a dispensary. A dispensary operating a website shall require age affirmation of at least eighteen years of age by the user before access to the website is granted. A dispensary that establishes any type of web presence shall not: (1) Allow for direct engagement between consumers or user-generated content or reviews; (2) Provide a medium for website users to transmit website content to individuals under the age of eighteen; (3) Display or otherwise post content that has not been submitted to the state board of pharmacy pursuant to paragraph (C) of this rule; (4) Facilitate sales transactions to any patient, caregiver, or medical marijuana entity; (5) Target a consumer audience under the age of eighteen; or (6) Maintain a web presence in violation of Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code or this division;(H) A dispensary shall not: (1) Display external signage larger than sixteen inches in height by eighteen inches in width that is not attached to the entity's permanent structure; (2) Illuminate a sign advertising medical marijuana at any time; (3) Sell or otherwise distribute clothing, apparel, or wearable accessories, unless such sale or distribution is to an employee for purposes of identification while working for the licensed entity; (4) Advertise medical marijuana brand names or use graphics related to medical marijuana on the exterior of the building in which the dispensary is operating; and (5) Display medical marijuana or paraphernalia that is visible from the exterior of the dispensary. (I) I. No dispensary shall license or otherwise expressly authorize any third party to use or advertise in a manner prohibited by this division. (J) J. This rule, as it pertains to advertisements, does not apply to a noncommercial message.

Ohio aims to ensure that advertisements and marketing campaigns related to medical marijuana do not promote the idea that cannabis is legally acceptable for purposes other than authorized medical use.

Cannabis advertisements are restricted from being placed near:

  • Addiction services providers

  • Game arcades accessible to underage individuals

  • Locations attractive to children

Additional prohibited cannabis advertising methods include:

  • Billboards

  • Radio and television broadcasts

  • Handheld signs

  • Distribution in public places without consent

  • Public transit vehicles and shelters, and

  • Publicly owned/operated properties

Acceptable advertisements should not include:

  • Images resembling cartoon or fictional characters targeted at children

  • Market merchandise to individuals under 18

  • Contain false or misleading information

  • Disparage competitors

  • Be obscene or indecent

  • Make unsupported claims about marijuana safety or efficacy

A dispensary must submit names, logos, signs, or advertisements to the state board of pharmacy for approval, along with the applicable advertising fee.

Submission materials should include:

  • A description of the format

  • Verification of non-use of actual patients

  • Accurate translations

  • References to support treatment effectiveness claims, and

  • Final copies in an acceptable format

Click here for the Ohio cannabis advertising checklist.

General dispensary requirements

Legal reference

Section 1 – Dispensary operations generally

(A) A dispensary awarded a certificate of operation under this division shall: (1) Operate in accordance with the representations made in its application; and (2) Comply with Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code and this division. (B) Only a dispensary with an active certificate of operation from the state board of pharmacy may authorize and engage in medical marijuana dispensary operations. (C) A dispensary shall not dispense marijuana from, obtain marijuana from, or transfer marijuana to, a location outside of the state of Ohio. (D) A dispensary shall not obtain, cultivate, deliver, transfer, transport, sell or dispense marijuana except (1) It may acquire marijuana from a processor or cultivator holding a plant-only processor designation; (2) It may sell expired plant material to a processor licensed by the department of commerce if all original tamper-resistant seals from the original cultivator's container remain intact; (3) Dispensary employees may dispense and sell marijuana only to a patient or caregiver, in a dispensary department, in accordance with Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code and this division; and (4) It may initiate a transfer of inventory over the course of discontinuing business pursuant to rule 3796:6-2-14 of the Administrative Code. (E) No person at a dispensary shall provide free medical marijuana samples or engage in compounding as defined under section 4729.01 of the Revised Code. (F) A dispensary shall sell medical marijuana only in the original, sealed containers or packaging as delivered by the processor or cultivator holding a plant-only processor designation. (G) Upon a patient or caregiver's request, a dispensary may provide the patient or caregiver to whom medical marijuana has been dispensed by the dispensary, with a container that is intended to be used for the transport of medical marijuana aliquots. Such a container shall: (1) Meet the requirements in paragraph (A) of rule 3796:8-1-01 of the Administrative Code; (2) Have an affixed label containing: (a) The product name, form, dose, product identifier, product identification number, and quantity for which the container was provided; (b) The date and quantity dispensed, including the net weight measured in ounces and grams of marijuana or by volume, as appropriate; (c) The name and registry number of the patient and, if applicable, the name of his or her designated caregiver; (d) The name, address, and license number of the dispensary; (e) A warning that states: "This product may cause impairment and may be habit-forming;" (f) The statement: "This product may be unlawful outside of the State of Ohio;" (g) If the product is in a form other than plant material, the following must be included: (i) The date on which the product was manufactured and the name and license number of the processor that manufactured the product; (ii) A list of all ingredients and all major food allergens as identified in 21 USC 343; and (iii) A warning that states: "Caution: When eaten or swallowed, the effects and impairment caused by this drug may be delayed." (3) All labels printed for the purposes of this paragraph shall be printed as duplicate, auditable labels in the dispensary's internal inventory control system. (4) A record of all containers provided to a patient or caregiver pursuant to this paragraph shall be kept for at least three years. This record shall include at least the following: (a) The product name, form, dose, product identifier, and quantity for which the container was provided; (b) Positive identification of the employee responsible for providing the container; and (c) Signature of the patient or caregiver who received the container and the date on which the container was received. (H) A dispensary shall place all products sold to the qualifying patient or caregiver in an opaque package that shall not indicate the contents of the package, the originating facility, or in any other way cause another person to believe that the package may contain marijuana. (I) A dispensary shall not permit any person to enter the dispensary department unless: (1) Such person is a licensed dispensary employee whose responsibilities necessitate access to the dispensary department; (2) Such person is a registered patient or caregiver whose active registration is verified before entry into the dispensary department. Patients and caregivers shall not be permitted behind the service counter or in other restricted access areas, or (3) Such person's responsibilities otherwise necessitate access to the dispensary department and then only for as long as necessity requires. Persons necessitating access may include authorized agents from the state board of pharmacy and local, state, or federal law enforcement authorities. All others who necessitate access shall be under direct personal supervision while on licensed dispensary premises. (J) All dispensary employees shall at all times while on dispensary premises, wear above the waist, an employee identification card printed by the dispensary at which they are employed. (1) Each employee identification card shall clearly identify the employee to the public and contain, at a minimum, the following features of information: (a) A clear photo of the image of the employee's face measuring two inches by two inches, taken not more than ninety days prior to the issuance to the employee; (b) The date on which the identification card was issued to the employee; (c) The employee's current name; (d) The medical marijuana employee license number; (e) Security features to prevent unauthorized duplication of the employee's identification card; and (f) The name of the dispensary. (2) Identification cards shall expire four years from the date of issuance. The dispensary's designated representative shall be responsible for collecting and destroying all expired cards and cards from employees who are no longer employed by the dispensary. (3) A dispensary employee shall be issued a separate identification card for each dispensary employing that individual unless the dispensaries employing the individual share common ownership and use identical cards for all dispensaries employing the individual; (4) Dispensaries may only print an employee identification card for an employee that holds an active license issued pursuant to Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code and the rules adopted thereunder. (K) A dispensary shall maintain a list of all third-party vendors. The third-party vendor list shall be provided to the state board of pharmacy upon request. (L) A dispensary-designated representative shall review dispensary organization policies and procedures at least once every twelve months from the issue date of the certificate of operation and update as needed or as requested by the state board of pharmacy. The time and date of such reviews shall be documented at the completion of each review. (M) No medical marijuana requiring refrigeration or hot-holding or considered potentially hazardous food shall be possessed or sold by a dispensary.

(A) A dispensary shall conspicuously post the hours of operation of the dispensary at all public entrances to the dispensary and on the dispensary's website homepage if one is maintained by the dispensary. (B) A dispensary shall not sell, serve, or dispense medical marijuana at any time other than between the hours of seven am ET and nine pm ET. (1) Changes in the dispensary hours of operation shall be submitted to and approved by the board prior to hours of operation being modified, except as provided in paragraph (D) of this rule. (2) Requests for modification of hours of operation shall be submitted on a form determined by the board no less than seven days prior to the requested modification of hours of operation going into effect. (3) The dispensary must maintain approved hours for no less than thirty days before submitting a request to change hours unless approved due to unusual circumstances as determined by the board. (C) A dispensary shall be open for qualifying patients and caregivers to purchase medical marijuana for a minimum of thirty-five hours a week, except as otherwise authorized by the state board of pharmacy. (D) A dispensary that closes during its normal hours of operation shall implement procedures to notify qualifying patients and caregivers of when the dispensary will resume normal hours of operation. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to, telephone system messages and conspicuously posted signs. If the dispensary is or will be, closed during its normal business hours for longer than two days, the dispensary shall immediately notify the state board of Pharmacy. (E) A dispensary location must have at least two employees physically present at the dispensary location during all hours that the dispensary is open. At least one of those employees shall be a dispensary key employee.

(A) During times when a dispensary is closed, it shall be securely locked and equipped with an alarm system approved by the state board of Pharmacy. Such alarm shall be activated and operated separately from any other alarm system at the dispensary and shall be able to immediately detect entrance to the dispensary at times when it is closed. (1) Keys and access codes to the alarm system shall be controlled in such a manner as to prevent access to the dispensary by anyone other than authorized dispensary key employees. (2) Only a dispensary key employee shall have the authority to deactivate the alarm system. (B) During times when a dispensary is closed, it shall have an operating surveillance system in accordance with rule 3796:6-3-16 of the Administrative Code. (1) The surveillance system shall either collect and store video surveillance on a twenty-four-hour basis; or (2) It shall live-stream on a twenty-four-hour basis and be capable of activation when the motion is detected and when the dispensary's security system detects an intrusion. All motion detection delay systems shall carry a filter time of no less than six seconds. (C) A dispensary shall store medical marijuana in an approved safe or approved vault within a restricted access area. (D) A dispensary shall not sell medical marijuana when the dispensary is closed. (E) A designated representative shall notify the state board of pharmacy immediately upon discovery of any unauthorized access at the dispensary.

Some general requirements for Ohio dispensaries include:

  • Only dispensing, obtaining, or transferring cannabis within the state of Ohio

  • Dispensaries must maintain a list of all third-party vendors

  • Dispensaries must sell medical marijuana in the original, sealed containers or packaging provided by designated processors

  • Dispensaries can't offer free samples

  • All employees must wear an identification card above the waist

Dispensary hours of operation rules:

  • Dispensaries must prominently display their hours of operation at all public entrances and on their website homepage if they have one

  • Dispensaries can only sell, serve, or dispense medical marijuana between the hours of 7 a.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET

  • Any changes to the hours of operation must be submitted to and approved by the state Board of Pharmacy in advance and requests for modifying hours should be submitted at least seven days before the desired change takes effect

  • Dispensaries must be open for a minimum of 35 hours per week for qualifying patients and caregivers to purchase medical marijuana unless otherwise authorized by the state board of pharmacy

  • A dispensary must have at least two employees present at the location during all open hours

Procedures when a dispensary is closed:

  • When a dispensary is closed, it must be securely locked and equipped with an approved alarm system and have a functioning surveillance system
  • The alarm system must be separate from any other alarms at the dispensary and capable of immediately detecting any entrance to the closed dispensary
  • The surveillance system should either collect and store video surveillance on a 24-hour basis or live stream with motion detection capability and intrusion detection

  • Medical marijuana in a dispensary must be stored in an approved safe or vault located within a restricted access area

  • Dispensaries can't sell cannabis when they're closed

  • The designated representative of a dispensary must immediately notify the state board of pharmacy if any unauthorized access is discovered

Security, control, and storage of medical marijuana

Legal reference

(A) Pursuant to rule 3796:6-3-05 of the Administrative Code, a designated representative shall provide supervision and control of medical marijuana and medical marijuana products and adequate safeguards to ensure that such items are dispensed in accordance with Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code and this division, by the following procedures: (1) A licensed dispensary key employee shall provide personal supervision of the medical marijuana and medical marijuana products, order forms, all records relating to the dispensing of medical marijuana and medical marijuana products unless the state board of pharmacy has issued written approval to a dispensary allowing for the storage of records off-site. (2) Whenever personal supervision of medical marijuana and medical marijuana products is not provided by a licensed dispensary key employee, physical or electronic security of such items must be provided according to the following requirements: (a) The dispensary department, restricted access areas and stock of medical marijuana must each be secured by a physical barrier with suitable locks and an electronic barrier to detect entry at a time when licensed dispensary employees are not present. The physical barrier shall be constructed from floor to ceiling to separate the public entry area from the dispensary department. Such a barrier, before being put into use, must be approved by the state board of pharmacy. (b) A restricted access area within the dispensary department must contain all medical marijuana, and if maintained on the licensed premises, all records relating to the dispensing of medical marijuana, and any other items required to be under the personal supervision of a licensed dispensary employee. (c) A dispensary maintaining records at a location other than the premises licensed by the state board of Pharmacy or via a computerized recordkeeping system shall maintain an executed agreement with the company possessing or storing the records authorizing an agent of the state board of Pharmacy access to the records maintained in accordance with this rule within three business days, excluding weekends and holidays. The dispensary is obligated to ensure the board receives the records in the timeframe specified in this rule. (d) No item, product, record, or equipment that must be accessible to anyone other than a licensed dispensary employee may be stored in restricted access areas. (e) No medical marijuana may be sold or otherwise dispensed at any time the dispensary department is closed. (3) Areas designated for the dispensing and storage of medical marijuana shall meet the security requirements in rule 3796:6-3-16 of the Administrative Code. No person may be within the physical confines of the area designated for dispensing or storage of medical marijuana unless under the personal supervision of a licensed dispensary employee. (B) A dispensary shall store inventory on the licensed premises. All inventory stored on the licensed premises must be secured in restricted access areas and tracked in the inventory tracking system. (C) A dispensary shall maintain adequate lighting, ventilation, temperature, humidity control, and equipment. Required equipment includes, but is not limited to, adequate personal protective equipment for employees. (D) Containers storing expired, damaged, deteriorated, misbranded, adulterated, or opened medical marijuana shall be separated from other medical marijuana until they are destroyed in accordance with the dispensary's destruction policy. Expired, damaged, deteriorated, misbranded, or adulterated medical marijuana shall not be stored at the licensed dispensary for more than one week. (E) The dispensary shall be maintained in a clean and orderly condition. It shall be free from infestation by insects, rodents, birds, or pests. (F) Medical marijuana shall be stored at appropriate temperatures and under appropriate conditions to help ensure that its identity, strength, quality, and purity are not adversely affected.

Ohio dispensaries must have a designated representative that is able to provide supervision and control of medical marijuana and products.

When personal supervision is not possible from the designated representative, physical and electronic security measures must be in place, including suitable locks and barriers to detect entry to areas where cannabis is stored.

Inventory and records:

  • Restricted access areas within a dispensary must contain all medical marijuana, records, and items requiring personal supervision

  • Dispensaries that store records off-site must have an executed agreement with the storage company, allowing board access to the records within three business days

  • Cannabis inventory must be stored on the licensed premises in restricted access areas and tracked in the inventory tracking system.

  • Medical marijuana cannot be sold or dispensed when the dispensary is closed

Dispensary control

  • The cannabis dispensary must maintain adequate lighting, ventilation, temperature, humidity control, and necessary equipment, including personal protective equipment for employees

  • Expired, damaged, deteriorated, misbranded, or adulterated medical marijuana must be stored separately and destroyed according to the dispensary's destruction policy within one week

  • Medical marijuana should always be stored at appropriate temperatures and conditions to maintain its identity, strength, quality, and purity

  • The dispensary must be kept clean and orderly, free from infestation by insects, rodents, birds, or pests

Monitoring and surveillance

Legal reference

(A) All licensed dispensaries shall maintain security policies and procedures that include, but are not limited to (1) A security plan with protocols for patient, caregiver, and employee safety and management and security of medical marijuana and currency; (2) Restricted access to the areas in the dispensary that contain medical marijuana to authorized employees; (3) Identification of authorized employees through means including current employee identification card in the employee's immediate possession whenever the employee is present at the dispensary; (4) Controlled access and prevention of loitering both inside and outside of the facility; (5) Conducting electronic monitoring; (6) Use of a panic button; and (7) Prepares for, protects against, and addresses how to handle any crisis that affects the security or operation of a dispensary in the event of strike, fire, flood, or other natural disaster, or other situations of local, state or national emergency. (B) All licensed dispensaries shall implement security measures to protect the premises, patients, caregivers, and employees, including the following measures: (1) The dispensary department shall be accessible to patients and caregivers, dispensary employees, service professionals conducting business with the dispensary and who are escorted and supervised by a dispensary employee, and other persons authorized by Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code and this division. To prevent unauthorized access to the dispensary department, establish a locked door or barrier between the facility's entrance and the dispensary department. (2) Post a sign at all entryways into any area of the dispensary containing medical marijuana, including a room with an approved vault, which sign shall be a minimum of twelve inches in height and twelve inches in width and shall state: "Do Not Enter - Restricted Access Area - Access Restricted to Authorized Employees Only." In lettering no smaller than one-half inch in height. (3) Maintenance of a supply of medical marijuana that is not more than the quantity required for normal, efficient operation; (4) Prevent individuals from remaining on the premises if they are not engaging in authorized activities under Chapter 3796. of the Revised Code or this division; (5) Develop a policy that addresses the maximum capacity and patient flow in the waiting rooms, dispensary department, and patient care areas; (6) Dispose of medical marijuana in accordance with this division; (7) During hours of operation, store all medical marijuana in established restricted access areas accessible only to authorized employees. The minimum number of dispensary employees necessary for efficient operations shall be in the restricted access area; (8) Keep all safes, vaults, and any other equipment or medical marijuana storage areas securely locked and protected from unauthorized entry. The vault shall have dual authentication or biometric access with a unique code for each employee. A safe exclusively used for storage of currency, with separate access controls, shall be maintained in the product vault; (9) Keep a daily log of dispensary employees with access to the safe or vault and knowledge of the access code or combination, and records of all employee access to any restricted access areas; (10) Keep all locks and security equipment in good working order. All security equipment must be inspected and tested at regular intervals, not to exceed thirty calendar days from the previous inspection and test to ensure the systems remain functional. A dispensary must maintain a log documenting such inspections and tests; (11) Prohibit keys, if applicable, from being left in locks or stored or placed in a location accessible to persons other than specifically authorized personnel; (12) Prohibit accessibility of security measures, including combination numbers, passwords or electronic or biometric security systems to persons other than persons specifically authorized in accordance with this division; (13) Ensure that trees, bushes, and other foliage outside of the dispensary do not allow for a person to conceal themselves from sight; (14) Develop emergency policies and procedures for securing all products and currency following any instance of diversion, theft or loss of medical marijuana, and conduct an assessment to determine whether additional safeguards are necessary; (15) Employ dedicated on-site security personnel during all operational hours who shall only perform tasks related to security operations and have foundational training specific to security; and (16) Develop sufficient additional safeguards in response to any special security concerns, or as required by the state board of pharmacy. (C) The state board of pharmacy may request or approve alternate security provisions that it determines are an adequate substitute for a security measure specified in this rule. Any additional protections may be considered by the state board of pharmacy in evaluating overall security measures. (D) When physical security controls become inadequate because of such items as a significant increase in the quantity of medical marijuana, the physical controls shall be expanded and extended accordingly. (E) All licensed dispensaries shall have a security system that is operational at all times and that uses commercial-grade equipment to prevent and detect diversion, theft, or loss of medical marijuana, including (1) A perimeter alarm; (2) Motion detectors; (3) Video cameras in all areas, unless prohibited by law, including all points of entry and exit from the dispensary, the dispensary department, and restricted access areas which shall be appropriate for the normal lighting conditions of the area under surveillance, so as to allow for the capture of clear and certain identification of any person located in the surveillance area. Such surveillance shall be sufficient to distinctly view the entire area under surveillance; (4) A video camera or cameras recording at each point of sale location allowing for the identification of the dispensary employee dispensing the medical marijuana and any patient or caregiver purchasing the medical marijuana. The camera or cameras shall capture the sale, the individuals, and the computer monitors used for the sale; (5) A minimum of one height strip camera at any public entrance or exit to the dispensary; (6) In accordance with rule 3796:6-3-04 of the Administrative Code, a minimum of constant streaming from all video cameras during hours when a dispensary is closed; (7) Recording from all video cameras during hours of operation, which the dispensary shall make available for immediate viewing by the state board of pharmacy or the board's authorized representative upon request and shall be retained for at least six months. (a) Unaltered copies of such recordings shall be made available upon request; (b) If a dispensary knows or should know of a pending criminal, civil, or administrative investigation or legal proceeding for which a recording may contain relevant information, the registered organization shall retain an unaltered copy of the recording until the investigation or proceeding is closed or the entity conducting the investigation or proceeding notifies the dispensary that it is not necessary to retain the recording. (8) A duress alarm, which for purposes of this rule means a silent security alarm system signal generated by the entry of a designated code into an arming station to signal that the alarm user is being forced to turn off the system; (9) A panic alarm, which for purposes of this section, means an audible security alarm system signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a life threatening event or emergency requiring a law enforcement response; (10) A holdup alarm, which for purposes of this section, means a silent alarm signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a robbery in progress; (11) An automatic voice dialer, which for purposes of this section means any electrical, electronic, mechanical, or other device capable of being programmed to send a prerecorded voice message, when activated, over a telephone line, radio or other communication system, to a law enforcement, public safety or emergency services agency requesting dispatch; (12) A failure notification system that provides an audible, text or visual notification of any failure in the surveillance system. The failure notification system shall provide an alert to the dispensary within five minutes of the failure, either by telephone, email, or text message; (13) The ability to immediately produce a clear color still photo that is a minimum of ninety-six hundred dpi from any camera image, either live or recorded. All cameras shall be capable of capturing at least thirty frames per second; (14) A date and time stamp embedded on all recordings. The date and time shall be synchronized and set correctly and shall not significantly obscure the picture; (15) The ability to remain operational during a power outage and ensure that all access doors are not solely controlled by an electronic access panel to ensure that locks are not released during a power outage; and (16) All video surveillance equipment shall allow for the exporting of still images in an industry-standard image format, including .jpg, .bmp, and .gif. Exported video shall have the ability to be archived in a proprietary format that ensures authentication of the video and guarantees that no alteration of the recorded image has taken place. Exported video shall also have the ability to be in an industry-standard file format that can be played on a standard computer operating system. All recordings shall be erased or destroyed prior to disposal. (F) A surveillance system at a dispensary shall have electronic monitoring capacity including (1) Monitors that are each at least nineteen inches or greater; (2) A video printer capable of immediately producing a clear still photo from any video image; and (3) A failure notification system that provides an audible and visual notification of any failure in the electronic monitoring system. (G) All surveillance systems at a dispensary shall comply with the requirements herein and shall provide secure access and secure override access for the system to the state board of Pharmacy in a manner suitable to the board. At any time and without notice, the dispensary surveillance system, and its component parts, shall be subject to testing by the state board of pharmacy. Each surveillance camera must be programmed with a defined home position that remains consistent when a surveillance system is restarted. The defined home position feature must remain enabled at all times and allow for automatic return to the home position. (H) If dispensary premises present special security issues, such as an extremely large stock of medical marijuana, exposed handling, or unusual vulnerability to diversion, theft, or loss, the state board of pharmacy may require additional safeguards, including, but not limited to, a supervised watchman service. (I) If diversion, theft, or loss of medical marijuana has occurred from a dispensary, the state board of pharmacy shall review and approve the improvements in the appropriate storage and security requirements for all medical marijuana in such dispensary and may require additional safeguards to ensure the security of the medical marijuana. (J) Preventive maintenance must be performed on a dispensary's surveillance system at least annually by a vendor approved by the state board of pharmacy.

To ensure the security and safety of licensed dispensaries, the following measures must be implemented:

  • Develop a security plan that covers safety protocols for patients, caregivers, and employees, as well as the protection of medical marijuana and currency

  • Restrict access to areas containing medical marijuana

  • Identify authorized employees through employee identification cards

  • Control access and prevent loitering inside and outside the facility

  • Conduct electronic monitoring

  • Use panic buttons

  • Prepare for and address crises affecting the dispensary's security and operation

  • Ensure the dispensary department is accessible to authorized individuals only

  • Install signs indicating restricted access areas for medical marijuana

  • Maintain an appropriate supply of medical marijuana

  • Ensure unauthorized individuals do not remain on the premises

  • Develop policies for maximum capacity and patient flow

  • Dispose of medical marijuana properly

  • Store medical marijuana in restricted access areas during operational hours

  • Keep safes, vaults, and storage areas securely locked

  • Maintain records of access to restricted areas and conduct regular inspections

  • Prohibit unauthorized access to security measures

  • Ensure visibility outside the dispensary by managing foliage

  • Develop emergency policies for securing products and currency

  • Employ dedicated security personnel during operational hours

  • Implement additional safeguards as needed

The state board of pharmacy may approve alternate security provisions. Additional protections may be considered for overall security evaluation.

Monitoring, surveillance, and implemented security requirements continued:

  • Expand and extend physical security controls when inadequate due to increased marijuana quantity

  • Install a security system that operates at all times using commercial-grade equipment

  • Include perimeter alarms, motion detectors, and video cameras in all areas.

  • Record video footage, including point-of-sale transactions

  • Maintain recordings for at least six months and provide access upon request

  • Install duress, panic, holdup alarms, and automatic voice dialers

  • Implement failure notification systems and capture high-quality images

  • Ensure the security system remains operational during power outages

  • Allow for exporting of video images in standard formats

  • Dispose of recordings properly

  • Install monitors, video printers, and failure notification systems for electronic monitoring

Special security issues may require additional safeguards, such as a supervised watchman service. In case of diversion, theft, or loss, the state board of pharmacy will review and approve improved storage and security requirements.

Learn how to protect your dispensary with the Dispensary Security Guide.

Dispensing of medical marijuana

Legal reference

(A) A dispensary is authorized to sell medical marijuana only to: (1) Qualified patients, eighteen years of age and older, and designated caregivers. No one other than employees of a dispensary shall sell medical marijuana to a patient or caregiver, and (2) Laboratories licensed under Chapter 4729-13 of the Administrative Code to possess dangerous drugs and controlled substances for scientific and clinical purposes. (B) A dispensary employee may exercise their judgment to determine whether to dispense medical marijuana to a patient or caregiver if the dispensary employee suspects that dispensing medical marijuana to the patient or caregiver may have negative health or safety consequences for the patient or for the public, or when the patient is exhibiting signs of potential abuse or diversion. Such a determination shall be reported to the state board of pharmacy within twenty-four hours. (C) A dispensary employee shall require the presentation of a registry identification card together with another form of approved state-issued photographic identification belonging to a qualifying patient or caregiver, prior to selling medical marijuana to such qualifying patient or caregiver. (D) Except as provided in paragraph (B) of this rule, a dispensary employee shall dispense in accordance with fill periods specified in rule 3796:7-2-04 of the Administrative Code. No caregiver shall receive more than the aggregate amount of medical marijuana authorized for each of the caregiver's patients. (E) Each dispensary's internal inventory system shall be compatible with and capable of integrating with the state inventory tracking system. (F) Each dispensary shall use a scanner approved by the state board of pharmacy to retrieve patient registry data by scanning patient or caregiver registry identification cards and government-issued photographic identification. (G) A dispensary shall not dispense expired, damaged, deteriorated, misbranded, adulterated, or opened medical marijuana. (H) When dispensing or selling medical marijuana all dispensaries shall comply with division (B) of section 3796.20 of the Revised Code including: (1) Dispense or sell only upon a showing of a current, valid patient or caregiver registry identification card; and current and valid state photo identification or other identification approved by the board. Medical marijuana may not be dispensed to a patient or caregiver who does not possess a registry identification card issued by the state board of pharmacy unless the dispensation is in accordance with a reciprocal agreement established pursuant to section 3796.16 of the Revised Code. (2) A dispensary employee shall verify (a) The validity of the patient or caregiver's registration by scanning the patient or caregiver's state-issued identification, such as a driver's license or other identification approved by the board. The identification number on the item presented by the patient or caregiver must be identical to the identification number included in the patient's or caregiver's registry record; (b) Possession of marijuana by a patient or caregiver registry card with the holder's name and identification card number identical to the identification provided pursuant to subdivision (2)(a) of paragraph (H) of this rule; (c) The patient or caregiver has not exceeded the purchase limits established in rule 3796:7-2-04 of the Administrative Code or that the amount of medical marijuana that the patient or caregiver is requesting would not cause the patient to exceed the purchase limits established in rule 3796:7-2-04 of the Administrative Code. (3) A dispensary employee shall confirm that each recommendation is complete. A complete recommendation contains the following: (a) Patient full name; (b) Patient residential address; (c) Patient telephone number; (d) Patient date of birth; (e) Patient qualifying condition; (f) State-issued identification number (such as driver's license number) or other identification approved by the board; (g) Patient registration number issued by the state board of pharmacy; (h) Recommending physician's full name (first name and last name); (i) Recommending physician's drug enforcement administration identification number; (j) Recommending physician's medical license number issued by the state medical board; (k) Recommending physician's certificate to recommend identification issued by the state medical board; (l) Date recommendation was issued by the recommending physician; (m) Recommending physician's business address, telephone number, and email address; (n) Indication whether the recommendation is new or a refill; (o) Number of the refill being dispensed; and (p) Date order written, which shall be the date the written recommendation was issued. (4) Update the patient record in the dispensary's internal inventory system with the following information: (a) Dispensary certificate of operation number, which shall be populated by a number provided by the board; (b) Dispensary name; (c) Dispensary address; (d) Dispensary telephone number; (e) Date order filled, which shall be the date medical marijuana is dispensed; (f) Order number, which shall be the serial number assigned to each medical marijuana product dispensed to a patient; (g) Quantity; (h) Days' supply; (i) Product identifier, which shall be assigned by the state board of pharmacy; (j) Payment code for either cash or third-party provider; and (k) Drug name, which shall be the brand name of the medical marijuana. (I) A dispensary may sell medical marijuana to patients and caregivers only in a direct, face-to-face exchange without the assistance of any electronic or mechanical device (such as a vending machine or other automated dispensing unit). A dispensary must sell medical marijuana in whole-day increments. (J) A dispensary shall dispense medical marijuana in a manner consistent with any instructions for use as determined by the recommending physician. (K) A dispensary must include the name of the dispensary on the packaging of any medical marijuana or medical marijuana product it sells. Each package sold must be placed in an unmarked, opaque bag before leaving the dispensary. (L) All recommendations must be serially numbered when dispensed. (1) There must be a complete accounting of all numbers used in the serial numbering system. (2) All recommendations which are not refillable, either because of the dispensing of all refills or the length of time since issuance, shall be assigned a new serial number upon authorization for additional dispensing by a recommending physician. (M) A dispensary shall maintain a record of each sale, purchase, and return of medical marijuana in the inventory tracking system established pursuant to section 3796.07 of the Revised Code.

Ohio dispensaries can sell medical marijuana to qualified patients and designated caregivers, 18 years of age or older.

  • Employees always have the option to refuse dispensing medical marijuana if they believe it may have negative health or safety consequences for the patient or the public

  • Employees must verify a patient's or caregiver's registry identification card along with another approved state-issued photographic identification before selling medical marijuana

Patient and inventory data:

Each dispensary's internal inventory system must be compatible with and capable of integrating with the state inventory tracking system.

  • A scanner approved by the state board of pharmacy must be used to retrieve patient registry data by scanning registry identification cards and government-issued photographic identification

  • Expired, damaged, deteriorated, misbranded, adulterated, or opened medical marijuana cannot be dispensed by a dispensary

  • Dispensary employees must verify the validity of the registration, possession of a registry card, and adherence to purchase limits
  • Medical marijuana can only be sold in a direct, face-to-face exchange without the use of electronic or mechanical devices
  • Medical marijuana must be dispensed according to the recommending physician's instructions for use

  • The dispensary's name must be included on the packaging of medical marijuana or products sold

  • Each package must be placed in an unmarked, opaque bag before leaving the dispensary

  • Dispensaries must maintain a record of each sale, purchase, and return of medical marijuana in the inventory tracking system established by the state Board of pharmacy

Prescription monitoring program

Legal reference

(A) A dispensary shall transmit electronically to the state board of pharmacy, in a format suitable to the board, the information set forth below within five minutes of the dispensing of any and all medical marijuana: (1) State license number, which shall be populated by a number provided by the board; (2) Dispensary name; (3) Dispensary address; (4) Dispensary telephone number; (5) Patient full name; (6) Patient registry identification number; (7) Patient residential address; (8) Patient telephone number; (9) Patient date of birth; (10) Patient gender; (11) Recommending physicians full name (first name and last name); (12) Drug enforcement administration physician identification number; (13) Date recommendation was issued by the recommending physician; (14) Indication whether the recommendation is new or a refill; (15) Number of the refill being dispensed; (16) Date order filled, which shall be the date medical marijuana is dispensed; (17) Order number, which shall be the serial number assigned to each medical marijuana product dispensed to a patient; (18) Quantity; (19) Days supply; (20) Product identifier, which shall be assigned by the board; (21) Date order written, which shall be the date the written recommendation was issued; (22) Payment code for either cash or third-party provider; and (23) Drug name, which shall be the brand name of the medical marijuana. (B) If a dispensary has no drug dispensing information required to be submitted to the board of pharmacy over any twenty-four-hour period, it must submit a "zero report." (C) The dispensing report or the "zero report" shall be consecutive and inclusive from the last date and time that information was submitted and shall be reported no later than thirty-six hours after the last time reported on a previous report. (D) Any dispensary whose normal business hours are not seven days per week shall electronically indicate its normal business hours to the board and a "zero report" will be automatically submitted on the dispensary's behalf on non-business days. (E) If a dispensary ceases to possess medical marijuana for dispensing, the designated representative shall notify the board of pharmacy electronically or in writing. The board shall be notified if the dispensary resumes dispensing. (F) All dispensing information required to be submitted to the board of pharmacy pursuant to paragraph (A) of this rule, must be transmitted in the format specified by the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy ("ASAP"), for prescription monitoring systems. (G) If a dispensary cannot electronically transmit the required information pursuant to paragraph (A) of this rule, they must immediately contact the board of pharmacy to determine a mutually acceptable method of reporting. The dispensary must document in writing to the board of pharmacy the reasons for their inability to submit the required information. (H) A dispensary shall transmit the information required pursuant to this section in such a manner as to ensure the confidentiality of the information in compliance with all federal and state laws, including the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Public Law 104-191. (I) All medical marijuana dispensing information submitted to the drug database pursuant to this rule must be reported in an accurate and timely manner. (J) If the omission of dispensing information is discovered, the corrected information must be submitted to the board of pharmacy during the next reporting period after the discovery. (K) If the omission of data or erroneous data is the result of a computer programming error, the dispensary must notify the board of pharmacy immediately by telephone and submit written documentation. The documentation shall fully describe the error and propose a date for submitting the corrected dispensing information. The board will review the written documentation to assure compliance with paragraph (A) of this rule. (L) Except as noted in paragraph (E) of this rule, all data must be submitted or corrected electronically unless prior permission for an alternate method is approved by the board of pharmacy.

Dispensaries must electronically transmit specific information to the state board of pharmacy within five minutes of dispensing any medical marijuana.

This information includes:

  • State license number

  • Dispensary name

  • Dispensary address

  • Dispensary telephone number

  • Patient full name

  • Patient registry identification number

  • Patient residential address

  • Patient telephone number

  • Patient date of birth

  • Patient gender

  • Recommending physician full name (first name and last name)

  • Drug enforcement administration physician identification number

  • Date recommendation was issued by the recommending physician

  • Indication whether the recommendation is new or a refill

  • Number of the refill being dispensed

  • Date order filled, which shall be the date medical marijuana is dispensed

  • Order number, which shall be the serial number assigned to each medical marijuana product dispensed to a patient

  • Quantity

  • Days supply

  • Product identifier, which shall be assigned by the board

  • Date order written, which shall be the date the written recommendation was issued

  • Payment code for either cash or third-party provider; and

  • Drug name, which shall be the brand name of the medical marijuana

If a dispensary has no drug dispensing information to report within a 24-hour period, they must submit a "zero report" indicating no dispensing activity.

Reporting information:

  • If a dispensary temporarily ceases to possess medical marijuana for dispensing, it must electronically or in writing notify the board of pharmacy

  • All dispensing information must be transmitted in the format specified by the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy (ASAP) for prescription monitoring systems

  • If a dispensary is unable to electronically transmit the required information, it must contact the board of pharmacy immediately to establish an alternative method of reporting

  • The dispensary must transmit the information in a manner that ensures the confidentiality of the information, complying with federal and state laws

Dispensing information:

  • All medical marijuana dispensing information must be reported accurately and in a timely manner

  • If any dispensing information is discovered to be omitted, the corrected information must be submitted to the board of pharmacy during the next reporting period after the discovery

  • If an omission or erroneous data is due to a computer programming error, the dispensary must immediately notify the board of pharmacy

Data must be submitted or corrected electronically, unless the board of pharmacy grants prior permission for an alternate reporting method.

Destruction and disposal of cannabis

Legal reference

(A) Medical marijuana products must be destroyed by: (1) Rendering it unusable following the methods set forth in this rule, or (2) Rendering it non-retrievable in accordance with methods of destruction under 21 CFR 1317.90 (as of 4/1/2019). (B) At least seven days prior to rendering medical marijuana unusable and disposing of it, the dispensary shall notify the state board of pharmacy. The notification shall include the date and time the marijuana will be rendered unusable or non-retrievable and disposed of. If the dispensary designates the destruction of medical marijuana on the same day and time weekly, communication of that day and time shall be sufficient to comply with this paragraph. Any change in the date and time must be communicated to the state board of pharmacy. (C) Unless otherwise required by local, state, or federal waste management authorities, the allowable method for rendering marijuana waste unusable is by grinding and incorporating the marijuana waste with other ground material so the resulting mixture is at least fifty percent non-marijuana waste. Other methods to render marijuana waste unusable must be approved by the state board of pharmacy before implementation. The material used to grind with marijuana falls into two categories, compostable waste, and non-compostable waste. (1) Compostable mixed waste: Marijuana waste to be disposed as compost feedstock or in another organic waste method (for example, anaerobic digester) may be mixed with the following type of waste materials: (a) Food waste; (b) Yard waste; (c) Vegetable based grease or oils; or (d) Other wastes as approved by the state board of pharmacy (e.g., agricultural material, biodegradable products, and paper, clean wood, fruits and vegetables, plant material). (2) Non-compostable mixed waste: Marijuana waste to be disposed of in a landfill or by another disposal method may be mixed with the following types of waste materials: (a) Paper waste; (b) Cardboard waste; (c) Plastic waste; (d) Soil; or (e) Other wastes as approved by the state board of pharmacy (e.g., non-recyclable plastic, broken glass, leather). (3) Marijuana waste rendered unusable following the methods described in this rule can be disposed of. Disposal of the marijuana waste rendered unusable may be delivered to a permitted solid waste facility for final disposition. Examples of acceptable permitted solid waste facilities include (a) Compostable mixed waste: compost, anaerobic digester, or other facility. (b) Non-compostable mixed waste: landfill, incinerator, or other facility. (4) All external refuse containers shall be maintained in a locked condition and secured to prevent unauthorized access. (D) All medical marijuana to be rendered non-retrievable or unusable following the methods described in this rule shall be weighed, recorded, and entered into the inventory tracking system prior to rendering it non-retrievable or unusable. The destruction of medical marijuana shall require at least two employees and include at least one key employee serving as a witness to the destruction of the medical marijuana. The destruction of medical marijuana shall be conducted in a designated area with fully functioning video surveillance. Electronic documentation of destruction and disposal shall be maintained for a period of at least three years. (E) A dispensary may offer as a service to its patients and caregivers, the ability to return unused medical marijuana for purpose of destroying the medical marijuana. Any dispensary that chooses to offer such services to its patients and caregivers shall develop a policy, which must be approved by the state board of pharmacy before any medical marijuana may be accepted by a dispensary pursuant to this paragraph. (1) All medical marijuana returned pursuant to this paragraph shall be entered into the state inventory tracking system; and (2) Prices for such services, if any, shall be publicly available. (F) The following products may be returned to a dispensary by a registered patient or registered caregiver for the exclusive purpose of being destroyed. A dispensary may provide the patient or caregiver to whom the product has been dispensed a refund of the purchase price of the product or a coupon or credit for a replacement product, and revise the patient's days the supply to reflect the returned product: (1) Defective product; (2) Product that does not match the item stated on the purchase receipt; and (3) Medical marijuana that is mislabeled by the cultivator or processor of the product. All medical marijuana returned to a dispensary due to mislabeling by a cultivator or processor must be reported in writing to the state board of Pharmacy in a format and medium approved by the board. (G) Recalled products must be returned to the dispensary where they were purchased by a registered patient or registered caregiver for the exclusive purpose of being destroyed. The dispensary shall provide the patient or caregiver to whom the product was dispensed a refund if the product is returned within thirty days of the product recall notice.

Medical marijuana products must be destroyed by rendering them either unusable or non-retrievable. Methods of rendering medical marijuana unusable or non-retrievable must comply with the rules specified below.

Medical marijuana waste:

  • Before rendering medical marijuana unusable or non-retrievable, it must be weighed, recorded, and entered into the inventory tracking system

  • Compostable mixed waste can include food waste, yard waste, vegetable-based grease or oils, and other approved organic waste materials

  • Non-compostable mixed waste can include paper waste, cardboard waste, plastic waste, soil, and other approved non-organic waste materials

  • Rendered unusable marijuana waste can be disposed of in permitted solid waste facilities, such as compost facilities or landfills, depending on the waste category
  • Unless directed otherwise by waste management authorities, marijuana waste must be rendered unusable by grinding and mixing it with other ground material, making the resulting mixture at least 50% non-marijuana waste
  • Electronic documentation of destruction and disposal must be maintained for at least three years.

Waste policies and services

  • Dispensaries may offer a service for patients and caregivers to return unused medical marijuana for destruction

  • The dispensary must develop a policy for accepting returned medical marijuana, which must be approved by the state board of pharmacy
  • All returned medical marijuana must be entered into the state inventory tracking system, and any associated fees for the service must be publicly available
  • Certain products may be returned to a dispensary by registered patients or caregivers for the purpose of being destroyed

Cannabis purchase limits

Legal reference

(A) A patient and a patient's caregiver(s) may collectively purchase no less than a whole day unit at a single time. A whole day unit shall equal the amounts for each authorized form of medical marijuana as listed in the following table: (B) A patient and the patient's caregiver(s) may collectively purchase no more than a ninety-day supply in accordance with the two forty-five-day fill period process established in rule 3796:7-2-04 of the Administrative Code. Ninety whole-day units, aggregated across forms purchased, shall constitute a ninety-day supply of medical marijuana. A patient or caregiver may not purchase more whole-day units of medical marijuana than days remaining in their fill periods as set forth in rule 3796:7-2-04 of the Administrative Code. A ninety-day supply is defined by form as follows: (C) Notwithstanding paragraph (B) of this rule, a patient who is diagnosed with a terminal illness and the patient's caregiver(s) may collectively purchase no more than a ninety-day supply in accordance with the two forty-five-day fill period process established in rule 3796:7-2-04 of the Administrative Code. Ninety whole-day units, aggregated across forms purchased, shall constitute a ninety-day supply of medical marijuana. A patient or caregiver may not purchase more whole-day units of medical marijuana than days remaining in their fill periods as set forth in rule 3796:7-2-04 of the Administrative Code. A ninety-day supply for patients diagnosed with a terminal illness is defined by form as follows

Patients and their caregivers can purchase a minimum of a whole day unit of medical marijuana at a time. The quantities for each authorized form of medical marijuana are specified in the table below:

Authorized Form of Medical Marijuana

Whole Day Unit

Plant material

2.83 grams

Patch for transdermal administration, lotion, cream, or ointment

Up to 295 milligrams of THC

Oil, tincture, capsule, or edible for oral administration

Up to 110 milligrams of THC

Oil for vaporization

Up to 590 milligrams of THC

Patients and caregivers can collectively purchase a maximum of a ninety-day supply of medical marijuana, following the two forty-five-day fill period process.

A ninety-day supply is defined as ninety whole-day units across the different forms of medical marijuana.

The number of whole-day units a patient or caregiver can purchase cannot exceed the number of days remaining in their fill periods.

A ninety-day supply is defined in the chart below:

    Authorized Form of Medical Marijuana

    90-Day Supply

    Plant material

    9 oz or 254.7 grams

    Patch for transdermal administration, lotion, cream, or ointment

    26.55 grams of THC

    Oil, tincture, capsule, or edible for oral administration

    9.9 grams of THC

    Concentrate oil for vaporization

    53.1 grams of THC



    In the case of patients diagnosed with a terminal illness and their caregivers, they can collectively purchase a maximum of a ninety-day supply of medical marijuana, following the two forty-five-day fill period process. The definition and quantity of a ninety-day supply for patients with a terminal illness are the same as outlined in the above-bulleted points.

    Ohio cannabis laws FAQs

    Is weed legal in Ohio?

    Recreational use of marijuana is not permitted, but qualifying patients with a medical card are legally allowed to purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries.

    How much is marijuana taxed in Ohio?

    In Ohio, medical marijuana is subject to a 5.75% sales tax. Additionally, local authorities may impose their own cannabis sales tax, which can range between 0.25% to 2.25%.

    Is it legal to grow marijuana in Ohio?

    Ohio medical cannabis patients are not allowed to cultivate their own marijuana; instead, they must acquire it from state-licensed dispensaries.

    What are the qualifying conditions to get medical marijuana in Ohio?

    To obtain a medical marijuana card and legally acquire cannabis in Ohio, a patient must experience one of the following qualifying conditions:

    • AIDS

    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    • Alzheimer’s disease

    • Cachexia

    • Cancer

    • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy

    • Crohn’s disease

    • Epilepsy or another seizure disorder

    • Fibromyalgia

    • Glaucoma

    • Hepatitis C

    • Huntington’s disease

    • Inflammatory bowel disease

    • Irritable bowel syndrome

    • Multiple sclerosis

    • Pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable

    • Parkinson’s disease

    • Positive status for HIV

    • Post-traumatic stress disorder

    • Sickle cell anemia

    • Spasticity

    • Spinal cord disease or injury

    • Terminal illness

    • Tourette syndrome

    • Traumatic brain injury

    • Ulcerative colitis

    How much marijuana can I buy in Ohio?

    Medical marijuana patients may purchase the following amounts of cannabis per day:

    • 2.83 grams (1/10 of an ounce) of plant material

    • 295 milligrams of THC in a lotion, cream, or ointment

    • 110 milligrams of THC in oil, tincture, capsule, or edible for oral administration

    • 590 milligrams of THC in oil for vaporization

    Is Flowhub compliant with Ohio’s cannabis regulations?

    Yes! Flowhub was the first integrator with Metrc and has built-in compliance capabilities for the state of Ohio. This includes our built-in Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) report which ensures your dispensary's full compliance with this unique Ohio requirement.

    Disclaimer: The material contained on this website and any attached or referenced pages has been compiled by Flowhub for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and is not considered to be legal advice. This post is current as of 6/27/2023. Cannabis regulations are rapidly changing, and legal advice of any nature should be sought from legal counsel.

    Maui action

    Is your POS made for OH cannabis?

    Book a demo to see how Flowhub helps you stay compliant.

    Maui action

    Discover a new way to sell cannabis

    Flowhub helps dispensaries run fast, smooth, and compliant business operations.