You may have heard the news that recreational marijuana has been legalized within the state of Ohio. This is very much true as Issue 2 was passed by voters on November 7, 2023 with a majority yes vote. But, as with any political change or decision, it’s technically not that simple. There are still many specific details and regulations being debated at the government level within both the state’s Senate and House of Representatives, which can make it confusing for residents to understand exactly what’s going on. 

Read on as we explain what is certain as of now, what Ohioans can expect going forward, and when adult-use marijuana is anticipated to be available for purchase at dispensaries. 

What the Adult-Use Marijuana Legalization Means

On voting day, November 7th, 2023, Ohio became the 24th state to legalize recreational or adult-use cannabis, with a more than 57% majority vote. Officially, this means the vote went into effect one month later on December 7th, 2023. 

As the vote was passed, it would allow all adults 21 and up to purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower with a THC limit of 35%, or 15 grams of extract. Ohio adults would additionally be able to grow up to 6 plants at home, or 12 plants in a household of more than one. And, marijuana would be subject to a 10% tax. 

Following this vote, however, the Senate pushed back and proposed a drastic revision of what was initially spelled out. After further negotiations with Governor Mike DeWine, this new bill from the Senate now proposes the following regulations

Ohio lawmakers have yet to come to a final decision, but one is expected soon. 

So, for the time being, technically recreational marijuana is legal for Ohioans to consume and even grow, but there is nowhere to legally buy the products. 

When Will Recreational Marijuana Be Available to Purchase

There are currently no authorized sellers of recreational marijuana within Ohio. 

Since final decisions are still in the hands of the government, and the Division of Cannabis Control still has yet to set specific rules on licensing, standards, and more, Ohioans likely won’t be able to legally purchase adult-use marijuana in the state until late summer to fall 2024.

Growers, dispensaries, and even testing labs all need to go through the licensing process in order to get their businesses up and running and become authorized. Under the current proposed regulations, license applications must be available within 6 months. There will also be a cap on how many adult-use business licenses are granted. 

It is possible that this process may move a little quicker for existing Ohio dispensaries that are already set up to sell medical marijuana. There are currently 37 licensed cultivators and 114 medical dispensaries within the state. Some Ohio lawmakers are pushing to get current medical dispensaries selling adult-use cannabis sooner in order to protect against illicit purchases. 

It’s also important to note that the current sale of medical marijuana and the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program–overseen by the Ohio Department of Commerce, State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy, and State Medical Board of Ohio–will be unaffected by these changes. 
To stay informed on the status of recreational marijuana in Ohio, residents can visit This is where the Ohio Department of Commerce will be providing updates on the non-medical program as they become available.