COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — Recreational cannabis could be up for sale in Ohio sooner than anticipated, after new dispensary licensing rules were approved by a state review committee.

The Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review on Monday finished its review of rules allowing existing medical marijuana dispensaries to obtain a dual-use license allowing them to also sell non-medical cannabis as early as mid-June.


How are future ‘dual-use’ dispensaries preparing for recreational sales?

There’s just one more step: The Ohio Division of Cannabis Control may file the rules as early as May 27. The division can then begin accepting license applications ahead of a June 7 deadline set out in the state’s new legal cannabis statute, according to a news release from the office of House Rep. Jamie Callender of Concord, R-57th.

“Thank you to the members of the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review for their thoughtful consideration of the rule package proposed by the Ohio Division of Cannabis Control,” Tom Haren, spokesperson for the Ohio Cannabis Coalition, is quoted in a news release. “OHCANN and our members look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Callender, the Committee, and the Division to develop a safe and regulated cannabis market for adult Ohioans. Together we can put an end to the unregulated illicit market.”

Though recreational marijuana became legal to cultivate and possess in Ohio in December, there’s been no place for Ohioans to legally buy it.

Though it seems things are now moving quicker than expected, Cannabis Control Superintendent James Canepa spoke more cautiously, telling reporters the division merely intends to follow the timeline for licensure set out in the state’s voter-initiated legal marijuana statute, which was known as Issue 2 on the November 2023 ballot.

“I don’t want to give anyone false hopes,” he said, as reported by AP. “We’re following the timeline in the initiated statute. We have a small but mighty staff, but there’s [a] bandwidth [issue] there.”

Haren told reporters he expects the existing dispensaries will be ready to go once licensing falls into place.

There are more than 100 active medical marijuana dispensaries in Ohio, according to Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program, including 33 in Northeast Ohio.


Find your local marijuana dispensary here

“Our members have obviously been anticipating the rollout of adult-use sales,” he said, as reported by AP. “They’ve been working on getting processes in place, making whatever changes they need to to procedures. We’re really excited.”

Under Issue 2, it’s now legal in Ohio for those age 21 and older to possess up to 2 1/2 ounces of cannabis flower and up to 15 grams of extract. It also allows Ohioans to grow up to six cannabis plants per household, or up to 12 plants if there are two or more adults in the home.

Under the statute, Ohio’s recreational marijuana program must be fully implemented by Sept. 7, reported AP.