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Marijuana Use Prohibited on Ohio Liquor Permit Premises Following Passage of Issue 2

December 21, 2023

Ohio Administrative Rule 4301:1-1-52(B) addresses a crucial aspect concerning the adult use of marijuana within liquor permit premises. According to this rule, permit holders, their agents, or employees are explicitly prohibited from knowingly or willfully engaging in various activities related to controlled substances and dangerous drugs on the licensed premises. Furthermore, permit holders, their agents, or employees are also prohibited from knowingly or willfully allowing possession or use of controlled substances or dangerous drugs on licensed premises by any guests or customers.

Specifically outlined in section (5) of the rule, individuals associated with the liquor permit premises are prohibited from allowing, facilitating, or participating in the possession, use, manufacture, transfer, or sale of any dangerous drug, controlled substance, narcotic, harmful intoxicant, counterfeit controlled substance, drug, drug paraphernalia, or drug abuse instrument upon or about a liquor permitted premises. While Issue 2 legalized adult use of marijuana, it did not remove marijuana from Ohio’s list of Schedule I controlled substances, found in Ohio Administrative Rule 4729:9-1-01. This means that while generally legal for adult use, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug in Ohio, and therefore the use and possession of marijuana of any kind in, upon, or about liquor permit premises remains prohibited.

This stringent prohibition reflects the regulatory framework in Ohio, aligning with the state’s commitment to maintaining a safe and controlled environment within establishments holding liquor permits. By expressly forbidding the association of liquor permit premises with activities involving controlled substances, the rule aims to prevent potential risks associated with the use and distribution of such substances on licensed premises. The inclusion of detailed definitions from the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2925 further emphasizes the comprehensive nature of the prohibition, leaving no ambiguity about the substances covered.

In summary, Ohio Administrative Rule 4301:1-1-52(B)(5) serves as a clear and unambiguous directive to liquor permit holders, agents, and employees, reinforcing the state’s stance on maintaining a safe and controlled environment by strictly prohibiting any association with the possession, use, or distribution of controlled substances and dangerous drugs within the confines of liquor permit premises.

The attorneys of Walter Haverfield’s Hospitality and Liquor Control team have decades of experience in business licensing within heavily regulated industries, including alcohol, cannabis, and more. Please contact us if we may be of assistance.

Alicia E. Zambelli is a partner at Walter Haverfield and has extensive experience working with businesses in the hospitality industry. She can be reached at or at 614-246-2280.