When we last reported on the state of Ohio cannabis, we were waiting for results from the latest petition by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. Previous efforts had not produced enough valid signatures, so the organization had to gather an additional 13,062 before the campaign deadline. By February 1st, 2022, the organization announced they had gathered the required signatures, sending the proposal for legal marijuana in Ohio to the house floor.
Now that the coalition has submitted more than the required number of verified signatures, state legislators can debate and vote on the initiative. If they do not take action, then the coalition will need to gather another 132,000 signatures to bring the motion to a vote on the November ballot.
The chances of the initiative skipping the ballot and passing in the legislature are not looking good. Senate President Matt Huffman has said, “I don’t want anybody to misunderstand my position. I’m not going to bring it to the Senate floor. And if that means people want to go put it on the ballot, have at it.” It’s likely that the group will have to gather more signatures and put the initiative to vote in the November election, instead.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is looking to, well, regulate marijuana in Ohio like alcohol. Here is what their initiative petition proposes:
- Regulate the cultivation, processing, sale, purchase, possession, home grow, and recreational use of cannabis by adults at least 21 years of age
- Use 36% of the collected tax for social equity and jobs programs
- Use 36% of the collected tax for communities hosting adult-use dispensaries
- Use 25% of the tax to fund und education and treatment for people with addictions Fund regulatory and administrative costs for the Division of Cannabis Control and Tax Commissioner fund with 3% of the tax
The legislature may vote on the initiative until May 28th. If they do not act, the coalition will gather more signatures in an attempt to get the bill on the ballot for this November. We’ll continue to update as the push for recreational cannabis in Ohio goes on.