Ohio Cannabis Businesses Unable to Sell Adult-Use Cannabis 4 Months After Legalization


Ohio’s cannabis businesses remain unable to sell recreational cannabis despite it becoming the 24th US state to legalize adult-use cannabis four months ago.

Cannabis users in Ohio remain in a state of limbo, able to possess and consume adult-use cannabis but unable to purchase it legally anywhere in the state.

In November 2023, Ohio passed Issue 2, legalising the possession of up to 2.5 ounces for residents over 21.

However, a number of key aspects of the regulation are yet to be finalised amid political deadlock over how the state’s framework should look.

“Currently there are no individuals or entities licensed to sell non-medical cannabis in the state of Ohio, and any sale of marijuana prior to non-medical licenses being issued may be subject to criminal penalties,” a statement on the Division of Cannabis Control Board (DCCB) stated.

Medical cannabis is legal in the state however, and many of its 81 medical dispensaries are poised to apply for ‘dual use licences’ and enter the fledgling adult-use market. The DCCB has said its goal is to open applications by June 07.

This delay is causing confusion among consumers and businesses alike.

Ohio Valley Natural Relief in Wintersville, a medical cannabis dispensary which opened in 2018, told a local news publication: “We have a lot of people misinformed right now because there’s not a lot of information, so we have a lot of traffic coming in. They already think that they can purchase, so they don’t understand yet that the state hasn’t set that regulation yet for sales.”

Further problems are being faced by business due to Ohio’s constitution guarantees cities and townships the right to dictate their own laws, seeing many choose to prevent adult-use cannabis sales.

Days before the vote in December, Hamilton voted to ban sales for six months, with similar measures also being taken in Fairfield, Ashland, Xenia and  North Olmstead.

A spokesperson for West Chester Township, which voted to ban sales for a year in December, told the Statehouse News Bureau: “Throwing the door open to the establishment of these commercial operations: does that mean we have cannabis sales on every corner?

“Does that mean every convenience store can sell cannabis? If you just allow it to happen with no rules or regulations, you can’t go back and change it later.”


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