Could Recreational Marijuana be Coming to Ohio?
Updated: Sep 21, 2021
We have some marijuana news coming at you today! For the first time ever, the Ohio legislature has a bill that could potentially legalize recreational marijuana cultivation and sales in the state.
This is big news as this has ever happened before! At Ohio Marijuana Card, we not only are the number one medical marijuana card provider in the state but are also a source of marijuana news. Stay connected with us on our blog for all things marijuana in the state of Ohio.
This bill was drafted by Reps. Terrence Upchurch of Cleveland and Casey Weinstein of Hudson which are now seeking co-sponsors on the bill. This bill is the first of its kind to propose a regulated market for legally selling marijuana in Ohio.
The bill goes even further by legalizing cultivation, both personal and commercial, regulating the sales and also giving those that have previously been convicted of low-level marijuana crimes a chance to have their records sealed. This three tier bill aims to give Ohio economic growth, medicinal benefits as well as true criminal justice.
While this bill gives a lot of Ohioans hope for a progressive future, there is still a tough battle ahead. The legislature is Republican dominated. Traditionally Republicans are more conservative and oppose recreational marijuana legalization. This GOP-dominated legislature in Ohio barely passed the medical marijuana program that we have today, even though it was and still is highly regulated.
Reps. Upchurch and Weinstein are both pushing for Republicans to support this bill stating that if Ohio doesn’t act now, the state will fall behind. The marijuana industry is growing quickly and with Ohio’s tight regulations on marijuana, the state could be losing out on valuable market share.
What would the recreational marijuana bill do for Ohioans?
The recreational marijuana bill proposed in Ohio was modeled after Michigan’s marijuana program. The bill would allow adults 21 and old to buy and possess as much as 5 ounces of marijuana at a time. Adults would also be able to grow up to 12 plants for personal use only. Individual cities and towns in Ohio could limit the amount of dispensaries or marijuana businesses within their city limits.
This new bill would keep the current medical marijuana program up and running. Instead this new bill would be an additional which would allow current dispensaries to operate on the recreational side as well. This would be run by the Ohio Department of Commerce.
The tax rate that Ohio would have would also be similar to the current taxes charged in Michigan and be lower than other states like Illinois and Colorado. There would be a 10% excise tax along with state and local taxes which would change on all marijuana products. The tax proceeds would be used to fund education programs, roads and bridge repair as well as local governments. As much as $20 million would be dedicated to research studies on medical conditions for veterans and preventing veteran suicide.
This bill would also encourage people of color and traditional disadvantaged folks to participate in the recreational marijuana industry. It also would have records seals for those that have been convicted of nonviolent marijuana crimes.
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