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Navigating Ohio's Cannabis Business Regulations: What You Need to Know

Updated: May 4

Ohio's cannabis industry is on the brink of expansion, with new regulations set to shape the landscape for businesses and entrepreneurs. Here's a high level overview of the basics of the Ohio Adult Use proposed regulation which you can find in full here.

If you're considering stepping into this burgeoning market, here's what you need to know about the types of cannabis businesses allowed, licensing structures, ownership limitations, social equity rules, and the application process.

Types of Cannabis Businesses Allowed

Ohio is opening its doors to a variety of cannabis businesses, including cultivators, processors, testing laboratories, and dispensaries. Notably, existing medical marijuana facilities can apply to convert their licenses to dual-use, catering to both medical and adult-use consumers.

Business Licensing Structure

The licensing structure is designed to accommodate different types of cannabis businesses:

Dual-Use Cannabis Dispensary License

These licenses allow facilities to serve both medical patients and adult-use consumers. Dispensaries must ensure equal access and maintain an adequate supply of medical marijuana.

Adult-Use Only Dispensary License

These licenses are for dispensaries that cater exclusively to adult-use consumers of at least 21 years of age.

Limits on Ownership

There are restrictions to prevent conflicts of interest. Applicants cannot have ownership or investment interests in, or compensation arrangements with, adult-use testing laboratories or applicants for such licenses. They also cannot share corporate officers or employees with these entities.

Social Equity Rules

Ohio's Cannabis Social Equity and Jobs Program aims to provide preferential treatment to certified participants in the application process. This initiative seeks to ensure that the benefits of the cannabis industry are accessible to historically marginalized communities.

Application Process

The application process is detailed and requires applicants to demonstrate compliance with various requirements, including:

  • Designating a point of contact for the division.

  • Disclosing all current and proposed owners, officers, board members, investors, and individuals with significant influence or control over the applicant.

  • Ensuring that associated individuals do not have disqualifying offenses.

  • Complying with all applicable tax laws and zoning requirements


As Ohio's cannabis industry evolves, staying informed about the regulatory landscape is crucial for success. Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or a newcomer to the cannabis world, understanding these regulations will be key to navigating the market and seizing opportunities in this dynamic sector.

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