Cannabidiol, CBD Hemp Oil, and Medical Marijuana in Ohio

April 09, 2018

By: Holly Cline

Cannabidiol (CBD) Explained

Cannabidiol (abbreviated as “CBD”) is one of many active compounds, known as cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant. CBD is one of the two main molecules in marijuana; the other is tetrahydrocannabinol, or “THC.” Unlike THC, CBD does not have any known psychoactive effects—in other words, use of CBD does not cause the user to become high. Dozens of studies have found evidence that CBD can be used to treat epilepsy as well as a range of other illnesses, including schizophrenia, heart disease, anxiety, and cancer.

In the United States, cannabidiol (CBD) is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that production, distribution and possession of CBD is illegal under federal law. In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration added “marijuana extracts” to the list of Schedule I drugs, which it defined as “an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant.”

In the states where medical marijuana is legal, CBD products are covered by those same medical marijuana legal protections. At least sixteen states have passed CBD-only laws, which legalizes the possession and use of CBD products for specific qualifying conditions—but not cannabis products containing higher levels of THC. Those CBD-only laws often limit the legal possession and use of CBD products to children with epilepsy, and some nerve and muscle afflictions. Most states with CBD-only laws allow possession, but do not allow licensed dispensaries, home cultivation, or any other supply infrastructure. In other words, registered patients can have it and use it but can’t legally obtain it. Only four states—Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas—still consider every part of the cannabis plant, including CBD, to be illegal.

CBD Legality in Ohio

CBD oil derived from Industrial Hemp is legal in all fifty states, as this plant never has more than trace amounts of THC, but is generally rich in CBD and other cannabinoids. Hemp is a cannabis plant that is harvested commercially for its seeds and stalks. For cannabis to be legally considered hemp, it must contain no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per dry weight. Thus, the possession and use of CBD oil derived from Hemp is legal, but possession and use of CBD (in any form) derived from marijuana would be governed by Ohio’s medical marijuana laws. In other words, it is illegal to possess CBD derived from marijuana unless permitted by Ohio’s medical marijuana laws.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Laws

On September 8, 2016, Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program was established by HB 523. Ohio law requires the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program to be fully operational on or around September 8, 2018. Under Ohio law, the following are qualifying conditions for medical marijuana:

  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Pain that is either of the following nature: (i) Chronic and severe; or (ii) Intractable
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Positive status for HIV
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis

Patient possession have not yet been satisfied under Ohio law. While home cultivation is not permitted under Ohio law, provisions in the law provide limited legal protections from qualifying patients who acquire cannabis from out-of-state sources prior to the operation of state-licensed dispensaries. In Ohio, it is illegal to have more than a 90-day supply of medical marijuana products at any one time. This rule is the same regardless of the product.  Full details regarding a 90-day supply can be found in Ohio Administrative Rule 3796:8-2-04.

All medical marijuana patients and their caregivers are required to register with the State Board of Pharmacy. Full details regarding registration as a patient or caregiver can be found in Chapter 3796:7-2 of the Ohio Administrative Code. A patient or caregiver registration will be valid from the date of issuance and expire one year later, on the last day of the month it was issued. If the patient is diagnosed as terminally ill, the patient’s registration will expire after six months. Medical marijuana will be available from retail dispensaries licensed by the Board of Pharmacy. Once the Board of Pharmacy has completed its dispensary licensing process, dispensary locations will be made available through this site. The following forms of medical marijuana are permitted: oils, tinctures, plant material, edibles, and patches. The law prohibits the use of medical marijuana by smoking or combustion, but does allows for vaporization (vaping). Medical marijuana will be available to minors. However, a certified physician may recommend treatment with medical marijuana only after obtaining the consent of a parent or another person responsible for providing consent to treatment.

If you have any questions or need help understanding Ohio medical marijuana law, contact the Tyack Law Firm by calling (614) 221-1342 or by using this online contact form to speak with a medical marijuana attorney in Columbus Ohio.


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