Ohio still stuck in THC Wild West legal grey area until September
Weed truck

A recreational dispensary on wheels – a weed truck if you will, which may or not be completely state sanctioned – has been rolling around Columbus for some time now and the Free Press decided to go Cheech & Chong-ish and chase down some product. 

After glimpsing the THC truck in the Near East and Far East over the previous two months, it was spotted at a gas station catty-corner to Eastlawn Cemetery. 

We spent $100, and our first review of this roving THC vehicle is “Meh” on the vapes and “Yay” on the edibles. The truck’s driver and co-worker will go unnamed. They insisted what they were selling was the real deal. Not the headache inducing Delta-8 products sold these days at nearly every city market or bodega. 

Delta-8 THC, unlike regular THC, has been fully legal in Ohio since 2018 through a Statehouse bill after Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act in the same year which allowed hemp products to be sold as long as they have .3 percent THC or less. 

The Free Press purchased from the truck a disposable vape ($40), a cart vape ($30) and some edibles ($30). All three were Sativa, as they handed you whatever was in reach from their seats, and none of the product’s packaging stated it was Delta-8. These prices are comparable to Ohio’s medical program product, meaning they’re a bit steep compared to Michigan or the First Nation reservations in upstate New York where THC has been fully legal for over five years. 

Disappointingly, the truck’s disposable vape and cart gave us a buzz kill. The potency of both was weak, a common complaint heard from Ohio Medical Marijuana Card patients about the programs vapes and carts which have their THC levels restricted due to it being prescribed for medical purposes. 

The truck also offered plenty of flower. Buds glowing with bright greens and yellows and smelling potent. But driving around with dried up dank is still worrisome with Columbus police always lurking. Yet the reality is, as smelled on local roads and highways, the local “po po” seem to have restrained themselves from roughing up pot heads anymore. Nevertheless, there is no need to chance it, so we offer no review on the trucks’ buds. 

Fully legal recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older was historically and overwhelmingly passed by voters in November of 2023 through Issue 2, a citizen-initiated statute led by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which was funded in part by some of the state’s medical growers. 

The law is in a grey area though as fully legal sales from state certified dispensaries are not prohibited as of yet, this according to the Ohio Department of Commerce which recently formed the Division of Cannabis Control. Dispensaries should be opening this fall as the rules are still being finalized. However, adults at this time can have on person 2.5 ounces of marijuana and 15 grams of cannabis extract. Adults can also grow up to a dozen plants on their property. 

Free Press cannabis expert Mary Jane Borden, who’s spent a lifetime advocating and writing about Ohio’s love/hate relationship with marijuana, says this local weed truck is walking a tightrope when it comes to Ohio law, but at least the tightrope is made out of hemp. 

“There is no legal adult use cannabis being sold in Ohio,” she said. “Cultivation licenses are supposed to be awarded by June and adult use product is slated for purchase in September. My bet is that what you have are Delta 9 or 8, sprayed on products converted from hemp, not herb legally grown within Ohio’s medical program, the only legal source right now.”

Borden adds she is worried about people consuming untested, poorly labeled and possibly dangerous product. She’s also concerned the sale of Delta-8 or real THC products during this grey period will bring more scrutiny from teetotalers such as Gov. DeWine and others. 

“DeWine, Yost, have been fairly quiet so far. Why give them a reason to intervene?” she asks. 

The Free Press is simply reporting on the new law, and hopefully Columbus police or the state will allow the truck to continue to operate. They should keep in mind Issue 2 passed by nearly half-a-million votes (2,183,735 to 1,649,385).