Where Can I Use Medical Marijuana in Ohio with an MMJ Card?

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Written by Sindy Brent on 02/26/2024.
Data Last Updated: 07/22/2024.

Chromometer 7 min

For Ohio residents with medical marijuana cards, it’s crucial to know precisely where state laws allow legal consumption for patients. Given that cannabis is still prohibited at the federal level, Ohio has intricate rules regarding the use of marijuana in public and private settings. This guide provides information on approved locations for use, what dispensaries are allowed to offer, and restrictions on public consumption to help avoid legal problems.

While Ohio permits the medical use of marijuana for qualified patients, it’s important to note that smoking and combustion of cannabis remains prohibited under state law. Even with a medical marijuana card, individuals are not legally allowed to smoke cannabis in Ohio. Instead, patients are advised to choose alternative consumption methods such as vaping, edibles, or tinctures, which comply with state regulations.

Private Residences

Private Residences

Registered Ohio medical marijuana patients can legally consume cannabis within private residences under state law.

  • Houses, apartments, condominiums owned or rented
  • Dwellings rented through landlords/property managers

Exceptions are federally-subsidized housing programs, which must abide by federal cannabis illegality. Landlords can prohibit use if in rental terms.

But otherwise, private residences under patient control provide legal locations for consuming doctor-recommended medical marijuana. Reasonable possession limits and responsible use still apply.



Properly certified medical marijuana dispensaries can, in some cases, permit legal on-site vaping or consumption by registered patients under Ohio laws and regulations. However, allowances vary by location:

  • Dispensaries can designate indoor/outdoor areas for legal medical marijuana use
  • Some currently enable cannabis vaping, or ingestion in consumption lounges
  • But not all dispensaries utilize on-site consumption provisions

Thus before assuming or engaging in any consumption at an Ohio dispensary with a medical card, patients must verify specific location policies. Permissible consumption could be restricted to certain forms (e.g. edibles only), or prohibited altogether at that facility. Explicit permission eliminates confusion on potential public use violations.

Public Spaces

Public Spaces

Broadly, using medical marijuana in any public area in Ohio, including smoking, remains prohibited by state laws, even for card-holding patients. This includes locations like:

  • Public parks, sidewalks, transportation
  • Bars, nightclubs, restaurants
  • Outdoor concert and event venues
  • Any publicly accessible space

Consuming cannabis in these areas risks misdemeanor fines up to $150 under Ohio Revised Code. Some municipalities could potentially designate specific outdoor consumption-permitted regions through local ordinances in the future. However, general prohibitions on public use are currently in effect statewide.

Other Prohibited Areas

Beyond public spaces, additional areas prohibit patient medical marijuana smoking and vaping under Ohio state laws and regulations:

  • School campuses (K-12 and universities)
  • Workplaces, except in designated employee consumption areas if applicable
  • Federal properties like post offices, VA hospitals, and courthouses
  • State parks and recreational lands
  • Moving vehicles including cars, buses, planes

Schools only allow cannabis in extremely limited medical cases; workplaces defer to employer policies; while consumption in vehicles equals impaired driving. Rules aim to prevent unsafe impairment, overdose risks, unintended second-hand exposure, and federal cannabis violations.

Summary of Locations Permitted for Patient Use in Ohio


Is Marijuana Use Permitted?

Private residences (exceptions apply)


Licensed dispensaries (facility dependent)

Potentially, verify first

Public spaces


Schools and campuses

Generally no


Set by employer policies

Federal properties


State parks and lands




Frequently Asked Questions

Patients may still have questions around legally consuming medical marijuana in Ohio even with a deeper understanding of public/private consumption laws. Some common FAQs include:

Is Marijuana Use Permitted at the Workplace?

No, most Ohio workplaces prohibit employee cannabis consumption during work hours, including medical marijuana. Some workplaces could designate specific outdoor smoking zones for employees’ medical use if they choose. But in general employers can enforce cannabis-free worksites. 

Is the Use of Marijuana Permitted in a Parked Car?

No. In a manner akin to open container laws pertaining to alcohol, state law prohibits the use of medical cannabis in vehicles on public roadways, including when parked. Doing so can warrant an OVI (operating a vehicle impaired) charge in Ohio. You also cannot operate any vehicle under the influence of marijuana.

Can I consume medical marijuana outside on my apartment balcony?

This depends on your building’s policies. If balconies or patios are designated as public spaces or common areas in apartment rules, cannabis consumption could violate bans on use in “public view”. Most rental buildings prohibit using marijuana in any space exposed to public view or accessible by other tenants. 

Final thoughts

Thus for registered Ohio medical marijuana patients, legally using cannabis broadly means doing so solely within private residential spaces away from public access, or in specialized dispensary consumption areas if expressly permitted at that facility. Ohio maintains general prohibitions around public consumption, including consuming cannabis in vehicles and public spaces, workplaces, and schools. Patients should verify location-specific regulations before assuming any usage is legally compliant with state medical marijuana laws. Consuming cannabis is ultimately permitted only in locations where it is explicitly allowed under the regulations.

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