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Rules Under HB 523 - Ohio's Medical Marijuana Control Program

The three state agencies – the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, Ohio Medical Board, and the Ohio Department of Commerce – are well on their way toward codifying the regulations that will govern Ohio’s medical marijuana program. Below are the links to the relevant agencies and their regulations. Some of these regs are detailed in the ORG’s Q & A.

Medical Marijuana

Control Program

Want to know more about

the program?


Please visit:

Official Website

Frequently Asked Questions

Medical Marijuana Moratoriums

A number of cities and towbs gae placing moratoriums on medical marijuana establishments such as grow sites, processors and dispensaries, thwarting the roll out of industry that could be worth as much as $400 million annually before even one regulation has been codified. Cities so far include: Lancaster, Lakewood, Beavercreek, Lima, Troy, Piqua many more. 


Ohio Department of Commerce announces 12 Level II cultivator provisional licensees: November 3, 2017

Ohio Department of Commerce announces 12 Level I cultivator provisional licensees: November 30, 2017

Medical Board accepts applications from physicians for Certificates to Recommend: March 19, 2018

Medical Board Approves 139 Physicians to Recommend: July 11, 2018

Board of Pharmacy approves 56 provisional dispensary licenses from 376 applications: June 4, 2018

Toll Free Line operational: June 4, 2018

University testing labs - Central State University and Hocking Technical College - granted provisional Licenses: July 2, 2018

​Processor Provisional Licenses: July 2018

Pharmacy Board Patient Registry opens: December 2018


First Dispensary opens: January 2019

Petitions to request additional qualifying conditions:

November 1 - December 31


Source: Medical Marijuana Control Program "


Medical Marijuana Marijuana Advisory Committee

HB 523 provided for the formation of a 14-member Advisory Committee to submit recommendations concerning the rule making process to the Department of Commerce, the Pharmacy Board and the Medical Board. Here are the picks by Governor Kasich and other legislative office holders:

1.) practicing pharmacists (2)one who supports medical marijuana and one who is a member of the board of pharmacy:

  • marijuana supporter:  Stephanie M. Abel, pharmacist working with Ohio State University's pain and palliative care program

  • pharmacy board member and Committee Chairman: Curtis L. Passafume, Jr., vice president with OhioHealth in pharmacy services            

2.) practicing physicians (2) – one who supports medical marijuana and one who is a member of the state medical board

  • marijuana supporter: Dr. Jerry W. Mitchell, Jr. oncologist

  • medical board member: Dr. Amol Soin of Xenia, pain management doctor                                        

3.) representative of local law enforcement (1): Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart                         

4.) representative of employers (1): Michael Stanek, chief financial officer for Hunt Imaging in Berea 

5.) representative of labor (1): Jason Kaseman, political director for the United Food and Commercial Workers union           6.) representative of mental health treatment (1): Marcie Seidel, Executive Director of the Drug Free Action Alliance

7.) nurse (1): Nancy Mosca, Mahoning County nurse and nurse educator                                        

8.) representative of caregivers (1): Martin McCarthy Jr., Parma parent and nursing assistant                        

9.) representative of patients (1): Robert Kowalski, patient advocate. (Bob Bridges replaced by Chris Stock in September 2019; Ted Bibart resigned on February 8, 2018)                         

10.) representative of agriculture (1): Michael Hirsch, owner-operator of Hirsch Fruit Farm

11.) representative of treatment of alcohol and drug addiction (1): Tony Coder, assistant director of Drug Free Action Alliance

12.) representative of academic research (1):  Gary Wenk, Ohio State University professor                                  

To the Ohio General Assembly: Thank You for Acting!       

On June 8, 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed HB 523 into law. This historic event marked the first time in the 40 years since Ohio decriminalized marijuana in 1976 that the Ohio legislature passed pro-cannabis legislation. The bill evolved through a series of town hall meetings and task force hearings to culminate with the introduction of Ohio House Bill number 523 in April 2016. Testimony was then heard before committees of both the Ohio House of Represntatives and the Ohio Senate. The House passed the legislation in early May and Senate passed it two weeks later. With the governor's signature in June, the “Marijuana-authorize use for medical purposes-controls” Act went into effect on September 8, 2016.

How Did Your Representative Vote on  HB 523?

Yes = 67

Anielski, Antani, Arndt, Ashford, Baker, Barnes, Bishoff, Boggs, Boose, Boyd, Brenner, Brinkman, Brown, Burkley, Celebrezze, Clyde, Craig, Cupp, Curtin, DeVitis, Derickson, Dever, Driehaus, Duffey, Ginter, Gonzales, Grossman, Hagan, Hayes, Henne, Hill, Huffman, Koehler, Kuhns, Kunze, LaTourette, Landis, Leland, Lepore-Hagan, Manning, McClain, McColley, O'Brien (M), O'Brien (S), Patterson, Pelanda, Perales, Phillips, Ramos, Reineke, Rezabek, Rogers, Rosenberger, Ruhl, Ryan, Scherer, Schuring, Sears, Sheehy, Slaby, Smith (K), Smith (R), Strahorn, Sweeney, Sykes, Terhar, Young

No = 29

Amstutz, Antonio, Becker, Blessing, Boccieri, Boyce, Buchy, Butler, Cera, Conditt, Dean, Dovilla, Fedor, Green, Hall, Hambley, Hood, Johnson (G), Johnson (T), Patmon, Reece, Retherford, Roegner, Romanchuk, Schaffer, Sprague, Thompson, Vitale, Zeltwanger

Yes: Republicans = 43, Democrats = 24

No: Republicans = 21, Democrats = 8

​​How Did Your Senator Vote on  HB 523?

Yes = 18

Bacon, Balderson, Beagle, Brown, Burke, Coley, Gardner, Hackett, LaRose, Lehner, Manning, Oelslager, Sawyer, Schiavoni, Seitz, Tavares, Thomas, Yuko

No = 15

Cafaro, Eklund, Faber, Gentile, Hite, Hottinger, Hughes, Jones, Jordan, Obhof, Patton, Peterson, Skindell, Uecker, Williams

Yes: Republicans = 12, Democrats = 6

No: Republicans = 11, Democrats = 4

How does a bill become law?

Although Ohio now has a medical marijuana law, it will need tweeks. As the legislature makes changes, it is important to understanad how the legislative process works.

Click HERE to view the Guidebook for Ohio Legislators 13th Edition 2013-2014

Click HERE to view a colorful graph depicting this legislative process.

Task Force Testimony

2-11-16 to 3-31-16

Medical Cannabis - Ohio Legislative History prior to HB 523

Over the last 20 years, the Ohio General Assembly has considered eight bills. All but one would have given patients safe access to cannabis (marijuana) at some level. The one bill that passed in 1997 erased an Affirmative Defense that had been passed during the prior session in a funding bill.

SB 2 1997-1998 session • Sponsor: Senator Blessing. Eliminated the "medical purposes" affirmative defense to the offense of possession of marihuana. Effective June 1997.

SB ? 1999-2000 session • Sponsor: Senator Robert Hagan (D-Youngstown). His first in a series.

SB 742005-2006 session • Sponsor: Senator Robert Hagan (D-Youngstown). Introduced in February 2005. Referred to the Criminal Justice Committee.
Received a sponsor testimony hearing in November 2006, but went no further.

SB 3432007-2008 session • Sponsor: Senator Tom Roberts (D-Dayton). Called the Ohio Medical Compassion Act. Introduced in May 2008. Referred to the Criminal Justice Committee. Received both sponsor and proponent testimony hearings in November 2008, but went no further.


HB 4782009-2010 session • Sponsor: Rep. Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights).Called the Ohio Medical Compassion Act of 2010. Introduced April 2010.Referred to the Health and Aging Committee, but went no further.


HB 2142011-2012 session • Sponsor: Rep. Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights).Introduced April 2011. Referred to the Health and Aging Committee, with no further action.


HB 153 2013-2014 session • Sponsor: Rep. Bob Hagan (D-Youngstown). Co-Sponsors: Rep. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) and Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain). Reintroduction of HB 214 from prior session in May 2013.


HB 332015-2016 session • Sponsors: Rep. Wes Retherford (R-District 61,Hamilton County) and Rep. John M. Rogers (D-District 60, Mentor on the Lake). Would authorize the use of cannabidiol to treat seizure disorders. Introduced in February 2015. Referred to Health and Aging Committee with no further action.


Note: The underlined bills link to their full text versions. For a printable PDF of this list, please click HERE.

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