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Ohio Moves Another Step Closer to Adult Use Cannabis Legalization Ohio Moves Another Step Closer to Adult Use Cannabis Legalization

Ohio Moves Another Step Closer to Adult Use Cannabis Legalization

Ohio is one step closer to legalizing cannabis for adult use. On August 30, 2021, the Ohio Ballot Board cleared statutory language as one law which was proposed by Ice Miller client The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (the “Coalition”). The proposal would allow adults 21 years of age and older to grow, possess and purchase adult use cannabis. Among its key provisions, the proposed statute would:
  • Allow Ohioans to purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of adult use cannabis (not including adult use extract) and fifteen grams of adult use cannabis in the form of adult use extract;
  • Allow Ohioans to grow up to six plants inside their homes (with a maximum of 12 plants per household);
  • Levy a 10% tax on adult use cannabis sales, on top of regular state and local sales taxes;
  • Permit Ohio’s existing medical cannabis operators to expand their cultivation footprint and open additional dispensaries to serve the adult use market; and
  • Authorize the issuance of additional cannabis cultivation and retail licenses.
The Coalition seeks passage of their proposal through Ohio’s initiated statute process. Under Ohio law, citizens can petition the General Assembly to enact a new statute by drafting the full text of the proposed statute and a concise summary, gathering 1,000 signatures in support of the proposal, then filing these materials with the Ohio Attorney General for certification following by required approval by the Ohio Ballot Board.

Having achieved certification from the Attorney General and approval from the Ballot Board, the Coalition now moves into the next phase of the initiated statute process, in which the Coalition must collect approximately 133,000 signatures from registered voters around the state. The signatures must be obtained from at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, and for each county, the Coalition must collect signatures totaling at least 1.5 percent of the total vote cast for the office of governor in that county at the last gubernatorial election.

Once the Coalition obtains the required signatures, the General Assembly will have four months to act on the proposed statute. If the General Assembly fails to pass the proposed law or amends the proposed law, the Coalition will have the opportunity to collect additional signatures and place the proposal on the general election ballot in November 2022.

Ice Miller’s multi-state Cannabis Practice Group is ready to help those currently operating in the Ohio medical cannabis market and those planning for future opportunities in the cannabis industry. Ice Miller currently represents cannabis license holders and third-party service providers in established and emerging markets. The Cannabis Practice Group utilizes a cross-functional team of lawyers and professionals to handle the array of issues involved with working in the cannabis industry and its emerging markets.

For more information about Ice Miller’s cannabis practice, including the proposed Act to Control and Regulate Adult Use Cannabis, please contact John H. Oberle, Sam Porter, or Kristina Dahmann. Learn more about Ice Miller’s Cannabis Practice here.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.
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