A few Republican legislators out of Ohio have taken action to file a new bill. This legislation would be to legalize marijuana in the state of Ohio. This bill comes as activists are close to completing the first stage of…
collecting signatures for a cannabis legalization initiative.
Reps. Jamie Callender (R) and Ron Ferguson (R) first announced their plan to push the legislative reform proposal in October. As well they spread a co-sponsorship memorandum to build support for the measure. Now they’re moving ahead with a formal introduction of the “Ohio Adult Use Act.”
This cannabis proposal would permit people 21 and older to purchase and hold up to 50 grams of cannabis. They would also be able to cultivate up to six plants. To which only three of which could be mature, for personal use. In addition, gifting up to 25 grams of marijuana between adults without remuneration would also be permitted.
Adult-use cannabis products would be taxed at 10 percent. After covering administrative costs, tax revenue would be distributed differently. Tax revenue would go to 50 percent to the state general fund. As well as 25 percent to combat illicit drug trafficking. And 25 percent for substance misuse treatment programs.
The state Department of Commerce would be responsible for regulating the new adult-use marijuana. Along with its current medical cannabis program and issuing business licenses. Which would be done through a new Division of Marijuana Control.
Ohio Is Working To Legalize Marijuana
Regulators would be restricted to accepting one retail marijuana dispensary license. This would be for 60,000 residents in the state up until January 1, 2027. Following that period, the department would be required to review the program on “at least a biennial basis” to see if more licensees are needed.
The bill does not contain explicit requirements to promote social equity by expunging prior cannabis convictions. And neither prioritizing licensing for communities most affected under prohibition. That’s despite Callender saying 2 months ago that there would be a road for expungements. He continued “for folks that have prior convictions that would be not illegal after the passage of this bill.”
A spokesperson in the lawmaker’s office mentioned that those elements weren’t included in this introduced version. Yet “it is still the plan to add any needed language on the subject once we get it to committee.”
“Conversations on modifications are continuing but with Thanksgiving here and the end of the year approaching, we wanted to get the ball rolling with the introduction,” he said.
The Next Step For Cannabis Legalization In Ohio
There is at least one equity-related provision to require regulators to conduct a study. Which would be prior to issuing adult-use licenses. This is…
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