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Navigating the New Era of Legal Cannabis in Ohio: Why Medical Cannabis Will Remain Essential

Ohio's recent legalization of recreational cannabis has sparked much excitement among residents, signaling a shift in attitudes towards cannabis use. However, amidst this wave of enthusiasm, it's crucial to remember that Ohio's medical cannabis program continues to offer unique benefits and protections for those who qualify. If we take a look at other states who have legalized recreational cannabis, we can compare how Ohio’s program will look.

A Quick Overview of the Recreational Cannabis Bill

Ohio's Issue 2, the Cannabis Legalization Initiative, was recently passed, legalizing and

regulating the cultivation, possession, sale, purchase, and use of recreational cannabis for adults aged 21 and above. The law allows adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and grow up to six plants at home. A 10% tax will be imposed on purchases, which will go towards administrative costs, addiction treatment, municipalities with dispensaries, and social equity and jobs programs.

The Waiting Period for Recreational Dispensaries

While the legalization of recreational cannabis is a significant step forward, it's important to note that the opening of recreational dispensaries is still about a year away. This means that for the time being, medical cannabis dispensaries will continue to be the primary source of cannabis for Ohio residents. This delay in the opening of recreational dispensaries further underscores the value of maintaining a medical cannabis card.

Larger Selection

Ohio's medical cannabis dispensaries will boast a far wider selection of products compared to their recreational counterparts including higher THC levels and a wider variety of strains. This diversity caters to the specific needs of patients, allowing them to choose the form and dosage that best suits their medical conditions and preferences. Whether it's tinctures, edibles, topicals, or vaporized products, medical cannabis dispensaries provide a comprehensive range of options to address a variety of ailments.

Lower Prices

Another compelling reason to maintain a medical cannabis card lies in the price differential. Medical cannabis patients often enjoy lower prices compared to recreational consumers. This is due, in part, to the absence of the significant excise tax imposed on recreational cannabis sales. The total tax applied, which can reach up to 20%, can inflate the cost of recreational products, making medical cannabis a more affordable option for those relying on its therapeutic benefits.

Employer Requirements

Some employers in Ohio require employees who use cannabis to have a medical cannabis card. Medical cannabis cardholders also benefit from employment protections under Ohio law. While recreational cannabis use remains illegal in the workplace, individuals with medical cannabis cards are protected from discrimination based on their medical conditions. This safeguard ensures that patients can access their prescribed medication without fear of workplace repercussions.


While the legalization of recreational cannabis in Ohio is a significant milestone, it does not diminish the value of a medical cannabis card. The card offers numerous benefits, including access to a larger selection of products, lower prices due to tax exemptions, and compliance with certain employer requirements. Therefore, Ohio residents who use cannabis for medical purposes should still consider obtaining a medical cannabis card. While it may seem like a hassle, the benefits can outweigh the costs for many people. Furthermore, with the delay in the opening of recreational dispensaries, a medical cannabis card ensures continued access to cannabis for those who need it.

As Ohio navigates this new era of legal cannabis, it's crucial to recognize that medical cannabis cards continue to offer unique advantages and protections for those who qualify. By understanding these benefits, Ohioans can make informed decisions that align with their individual needs and preferences.

At Green Harvest Health, we are experienced experts in cannabis use and can help you Reclaim Your Wellness and Life. Scheduling your comprehensive appointment can be made here.

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