Recreational Cannabis Sales in Ohio Still Under Deliberation

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Several aspects of recreational cannabis sales, regulation, and sales have not been finalized, despite its legalization months prior.

Cannabis for recreational purposes is still not available for purchase in Ohio—two months after voters passed Issue 2, which legalized the possession and use of cannabis for adults over the age of 21 (1,2). The state’s Division of Cannabis Control, created after the passing of Issue 2, recently proposed granting licenses for medical cannabis dispensaries to sell both medical and recreational cannabis (2).

“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,” read a bolded statement on the Division’s website in the “Non-Medical Cannabis FAQ” section (3).

Medical cannabis would still be regulated under the state’s Medical Marijuana Control Program, even with the potential for dually-licensed dispensaries (2).


“We are ready to implement it overnight,” said Nilendu Singh, owner of Nar Dispensary in Columbus, Ohio (1). “I think that is where a lot of dispensaries are at too and Nar reserve is no different. The moment we get that license or we know we are getting it, we will be ready to roll it out that day.”

Ohio governor Mike DeWine has encouraged the passing of HB 86 by the House, which would make the sale of recreational cannabis legal in the state and increase the tax to 15% (1). Last month, the governor also held a press conference urging the passing of legislation that would make the sale of delta-8 products to anyone under 21, specifically children, illegal (3).

Packaging and licensing of delta-8 products would then become regulated alongside recreational cannabis (3). "The biggest concern we have is it is a product that looks like it should be consumed by a child,” DeWine said (3). “It is a product that is advertised by the packaging as if it is for a child. None of those things could occur if it was under the protocol of the sale of marijuana.” Currently, these products are available for purchase at locations including gas stations and vape stores (3).

Learn the latest about hemp-derived cannabinoids our coverage of the GMP Collective webinar, “Intoxicating Hemp and Synthetic Cannabinoids: Insights into Lab Testing.”

Track the recent history of recreational cannabis legislation in Ohio here.


  1. Rogner, C. Proposed rules would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational cannabis (accessed Feb 26, 2024).
  2. (accessed Feb 26, 2024).
  3. DeWine calls on lawmakers to regulate delta-8 THC products, stop sales to children (accessed Feb 26, 2024).