BUCKEYE LAKE, Ohio — AUGUST 17: A marijuana plant in a flowering room, August 17, 2023, at PharmaCann, Inc.’s cultivation and processing facility in Buckeye Lake, Ohio. (Photo by Graham Stokes for Ohio Capital Journal. Republish photo only with original story.)
The Ohio Ballot Board unanimously voted Thursday to solidify the language voters will see for the proposed recreational marijuana law in the November election.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol is backing the ballot proposal which would legalize and regulate cultivation, manufacturing, testing and the sale of marijuana to Ohioans 21 and up. It would also legalize home grow for Ohioans 21 and up with a limit of six plants per person and 12 plants per residence, and impose a 10% tax at the point of sale for each transaction.
“Unanimous approval by the bipartisan ballot board should assure voters that ‘What they see is what they’ll get’,” Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol spokesperson Tom Haren said in a statement. “That means: hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue and stringent regulation like we already have in our existing medical marijuana market. We are looking forward to putting the illicit market out of business this November.”
The proposal will be State Issue 2 on the Nov. 7 election.
No one spoke during the public comment portion of Thursday’s meeting in regards to Issue 2 nor was there discussion about it among the five-person Ballot Board, chaired by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. State Rep. Elliot Forhan, D-South Euclid, citizen William N. Morgan, Sens. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green and Paula Hicks-Hudson, D-Toledo are also on the board.
The Ballot Board determines what language voters will see on ballot.
After originally not getting enough valid signatures, CRMA ended up collecting more than enough after the 10-day cure period, winding up with 127,772 valid signatures — 3,000 more than needed to get on the ballot.
The ballot language
The proposed law would establish the Division of Cannabis Control within the Department of Commerce which would “regulate, investigate, and penalize adult use cannabis operators, adult use testing laboratories and individuals required to be licensed.”
It would create five funds in the state treasury: the adult use tax fund, the cannabis social equity and jobs fund; the host community cannabis fund; the substance abuse and addiction fund, and the division of cannabis control and tax commissioner fund.
Landlords or an employer would have the authority “to prohibit the adult use of cannabis in certain circumstances, and prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while using or under the influence of adult use cannabis and from using any other combustible adult use cannabis while a passenger in a motor vehicle.”
The proposed law would require the Division of Cannabis Control to enter into an agreement with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to establish a program for cannabis addiction services.
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