Is CBD Oil Legal in Ohio 2018?

August 25, 2018

Cannabidiol and CBD Oil in Ohio

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 oil) is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that production, distribution and possession of CBD oil 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.


CBD oil derived from Industrial Hemp 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.

CBD Oil Legality in Ohio

On August 25, 2018, the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy issued its Clarification on Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil, which stated that CBD oil derived from hemp or marijuana can only be dispensed in a state-licensed dispensary. Notably, the first state-approved dispensary is still months away from opening. The pharmacy board issued 56 provisional pharmacy licenses in June. Licensees have six months to build out their facilities and meet all obligations in state law and rules. According to the pharmacy board’s guidance,  HB 523, which created the state’s Medical Marijuana Control Program, made no exception for possession or sale of CBD oil. Thus, according to the recently released pharmacy board guidance, HB 523 includes CBD oil in the definition of marijuana, regardless of whether it is a plant extract or synthetic product.

Specifically, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy’s Guidance dictates that:

All marijuana products, including CBD oil, can only be dispensed in a licensed Medical Marijuana Control Program dispensary. Those marijuana products will have to comply with the rules and regulations of the program. All products must have a known source, as well as known quantities of active ingredients. Testing procedures will be conducted by testing laboratories licensed by the Ohio Department of Commerce.

Thus, until dispensaries are operational, no one–including board licensees–may possess or sell CBD oil or other marijuana related products. Violation of Ohio Revised Code or Ohio Administrative Code can subject a licensee (person or entity) to administrative or criminal action. Shortly after announcing the guidance, however, pharmacy board spokeswoman Ali Simon said she was not aware of any arrests or product seizures as a result of the guidance.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the Tyack Law Firm Co., L.P.A., or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel or representation on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, county, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.


Fill out the form to get started with your free case evaluation.