How to get your cannabis license in your state:

Shape of Ohio


Adult Use:
Market Overview:

The Ohio Legislature passed House Bill 523 in September 2016, opening up the medical cannabis market. As of Oct. 2022, more than $1 billion worth of cannabis has been sold to patients in the state — that's 120,292 pounds of plant material and more than 11 million units of manufactured products.

Requirements & Application Process:

There are several levels of licensure for cannabis workers in Ohio, two of them variants of a "key employee."

Associated Key Employee (AKE):

“An owner or prospective owner, officer or board member or prospective board member of the entity seeking a dispensary license.”

Key Employee (KE):

“An administrator or other person responsible for the daily operation of a licensed dispensary.”

Support Employee (SE):

“An employee who works within a dispensary but does not have authority to make operational decisions.” Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, Dispensary Employee Licensing FAQ


  • 21 years of age or older
  • Submission of the dispensary license application
  • A 2” x 2” head and shoulder photograph captured within the previous six months
  • Name and license number of the dispensary employing the applicant
  • Name, license number, and signature of the designated representative for the dispensary employing the applicant (only applicable for Support Employee license)
  • Copy of government-issued ID
  • Applicant’s full residential address
  • A sworn, notarized statement that the applicant has not been convicted of a disqualifying offense in any jurisdiction
  • Applicant’s social security number
  • Fingerprint and background check
  • Required fee of $100 for dispensary support employees, $250 for dispensary key employees, and $500 for dispensary-associated key employees
Background Check Requirements:

Prospective dispensary employees must submit fingerprint impressions to the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI&I) and FBI for a criminal records check.

A “disqualifying offense” includes:

(a) A conviction or plea of guilty, including conspiracy to commit, attempt to commit, or aiding and abetting another in committing, the following:

(i) Any offense set forth in chapters 2925, 3719, or 4729 of the Revised Code, the violation of which constitutes a felony or misdemeanor of the first degree;

(ii) Any theft offense set forth under division (K) in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, the violation of which constitutes a felony;

(iii)Any violation for which a penalty was imposed under section 3715.99 of the Revised Code;

(iv)A crime of moral turpitude as defined in section 4776.10 of the Revised Code; or

(v) A violation of any former law of this state, any existing or former law of another state, any existing or former law applicable in a military court or Indian tribal court, or any existing or former law of any nation other than the United Sates that is or was substantially equivalent to any of the offenses listed in paragraphs (i) through (iv).

(b) Any first degree misdemeanor offense listed in paragraphs (a)(i) through (v) will not automatically disqualify an applicant from licensure if the applicant was convicted of or pleaded guilty to the offense more than five years before the date the application for licensure is filed.

** (c) Notwithstanding divisions (a) or (b) of this section, no misdemeanor offense, including misdemeanors of the first degree, related to marijuana possession, marijuana trafficking, illegal cultivation of marijuana, illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia or marijuana drug paraphernalia, or other marijuana related crimes shall be considered a disqualifying offense. **

Additional Links:
Additional Job & Salary Information:

2021 Salary Guide

State Regulations Forum: Get your state regulations questions answered in our community forum.

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How to Work In Cannabis

Requirements by State

Map of the United States

Politics, budgets, and public support vary widely by state, which means each state’s requirements to work in the cannabis industry look completely different from one another.* This map and corresponding state information is not updated in real time. For up-to-the-minute information on requirements to work in cannabis, visit the governing body links provided on each state page.

23States & DistrictsAdult Use
18States & DistrictsMedical