Cannabis activists are very close to completing an essential first step toward legalizing marijuana in Ohio. If the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol can gather 133,000 required signatures by the end of the month, the Ohio Legislature would have four months to consider their statute.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol proposes allowing adults 21 and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis or 15 grams of cannabis extract. The proposal would also enable purchasing cannabis from dispensaries or to grow up to two plants at home for personal use.
The CRMLA proposal would also impose a 10% sales tax on cannabis. That tax revenue would support social equity and job programs, education and substance misuse programs, and administrative costs. Licensing would be prioritized for applicants who are participants under the cannabis social equity and jobs program.
Ohio is currently expanding its medical marijuana program. Licensed cultivators can apply for approval to expand their operations. The state has also recently approved additional licensing for additional dispensaries to meet patient demand.
Recently, State Reps. Casey Weinstein and Terrance Upchurch have introduced an adult-use cannabis legalization bill in the House. Within the past month, Rep. Jamie Callendar has introduced his adult-use legislation.
Previous attempts by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol to introduce a legalization proposal were denied because Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost felt they lacked the necessary details for approval.
The proposed measure would require creating a Division of Cannabis Control that would fall under the Department of Commerce and be in charge of regulations, licensing, and enforcement.
The new cannabis division would be required to begin issuing adult-use licenses within nine months of the legislation taking effect. If the proposal goes through, Ohio residents will be able to use rolling papers to enjoy their favorite strains.