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Illegal Manufacture/Cultivation of Drugs In Ohio: Definitions and Penalties

The illegal manufacture/cultivation of drugs in the state of Ohio is governed by ORC § 2925.04, which provides, in pertinent part:

  • “No person shall knowingly cultivate marijuana or knowingly manufacture or otherwise engage in any part of the production of a controlled substance.”

The essence of the crime is the “knowing” cultivation of marijuana or manufacture of a controlled substance, which signifies specific intent (i.e., knowledge and purpose or mens rea—“guilty mind”) in furtherance of the criminal act.

Marijuana Grow Houses

The cultivation of marijuana involves the harvesting or growing of flowering plants or buds, either indoors or outdoors,  for personal or medicinal use. Such activities are strictly prohibited in the state of Ohio, and carry heavy penalties and fines. Cultivation is considered a felony when undertaken in the vicinity of a school or in the vicinity of a juvenile and a prison term is presumed (ORC § 2925.04 (C)(4)).

Ohio Illegal Manufacture/Cultivation Penalties Chart

Quantity of Marijuana


Prison Time

Less than 100 grams

Minor misdemeanor


100-199 grams

4th degree misdemeanor

Up to 30 days

200-999 grams

5th degree misdemeanor

6-12 months in prison

1,000-4,999gree felony

Presumption (2-8 years)

20,000 grams +

2nd degree felony

Mandatory prison term


3rd degree felony

1-5 years

5,000-19,999 grams

3rd de


Collateral Consequences

Conviction of a felony can involve loss of a driver’s license, a professional license, visitation rights in a custody dispute, loss of a professional license, and/or other serious consequences.

However, conviction of a misdemeanor does not constitute a criminal record and need not be reported by the offender in response to inquiries about the individual’s criminal record on applications for employment, for licensure, or any other right or privilege in connection with the individual’s appearance as a witness (ORC § 2925. 04 (G)).


Negation of Intent

Since specific intent is an essential element of the crime of illegal manufacture of marijuana/cultivation, the most effective defense is the negation of intent (i.e., lack of knowledge and purpose in furtherance of the crime’s commission).

Mistaken Defendant

The defendant has been erroneously charged or prosecuted because he or she is either a manufacturer, licensed health professional authorized to prescribe drugs, a pharmacist, owner of pharmacies, or others in an exempt category pursuant to ORC § 2925.03 (B)(1), or if the offense involves and anabolic steroid, the person is conducting or participating in a research project approved by the United States Food and drug Administration involving the use of an anabolic steroid, pursuant to (B)(2) of the above-mentioned statute, or the defendant sells, prescribes, dispenses, or administers an anabolic steroid expressly intended for livestock or other nonhuman species, and approved for that purpose under the “Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act," 52 Stat. 1040 (1938), 21 U.S.C.A. 301, as amended.

If you have been charged or convicted of the crime of illegal cultivation of marijuana or manufacture of a controlled substance, you should contact an expert drug crime lawyer immediately.

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