Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Ohio Inevitable, Medical Marijuana Available Now
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Just Like Alcohol (CTRMLA) has submitted more than enough signatures to force the Ohio Legislature to consider a measure that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state. Once the secretary of state’s office confirms the signatures, lawmakers will have four months to approve, amend, or reject the measure.
With all the news about recreational legalization possibly coming to Ohio, some residents who would qualify for a medical marijuana card are holding off on getting one in the hope that they soon won’t need to in order to legally buy marijuana in the Buckeye State. However, there are still plenty of reasons to get your Ohio medical marijuana card now, rather than waiting for recreational marijuana legalization to become a reality.
In this post, we are going to look at what’s next for the measure submitted by the CTRMLA, and what the difference between recreational marijuana sales and medical marijuana sales is likely to look like.
What Happens Now That Enough Signatures Have Been Submitted?
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Just Like Alcohol has submitted 206,943 signatures to Ohio’s office of the secretary of state, and it needed 132,887. The next step is for the signatures to be verified. Once that happens, Ohio lawmakers will have four months to decide what to do next.
If the Recreational Legalization Measure is Adopted
Lawmakers will then be tasked with setting up the formal rules of the program and implementing legal recreational marijuana sales. This will be a process that could still take a significant amount of time.
Under the proposed measure, regulators will have nine months after adoption to start issuing licenses to qualified cultivator and dispensary applicants. Some operators may take a year or more to get up and running after their license is issued.
Getting your Ohio marijuana card will still most likely be the only way to legally purchase marijuana products until at least 2023 or later.
If the Measure is Amended
If lawmakers decide that the CTRMLA measure needs to be amended, then there will probably be substantial delays as lawmakers work out what will be changed before adopting the measure.
If the Measure is Rejected
Lawmakers can reject the measure entirely, and then the CTRMLA will need to get another 132,887 signatures to force the measure onto the November 2022 ballot. There isn’t much question that the coalition will be able to collect those signatures, but going through the ballot process will delay recreational marijuana legalization further.
The Future of Recreational Marijuana in Ohio is Still Uncertain
The bureaucratic process of getting any law passed in Ohio is long and arduous. The measure submitted by the CTRMLA is solid and seems favorable to a bipartisan group of lawmakers. However, it still needs to be considered, debated, approved through a series of committees, and then voted on in both the State House and Senate.
Once a measure is adopted, it needs final approval from the Governor, currently Mike DeWine, who is opposed to legal recreational marijuana.
Even if Recreational Marijuana is Legalized, Recreational Sales Will Take Time to Implement
Once recreational marijuana is made legal in Ohio, the process of setting up a system to regulate and sell legal recreational marijuana will begin. Getting a program implemented will take time, even if lawmakers decide to go with the proposal to use current medical marijuana facilities as a foundation for adult-use sales.
The challenge of getting regulation in place can be seen in Virginia right now. The state legalized adult-use marijuana, and possession and home cultivation became legal July 1, 2021. However, the state does not currently have a plan for legal recreational sales until 2024.
If recreational marijuana is legalized in Ohio, there is a strong chance that it will still take two to three years to get a legal sales infrastructure in place.
Ohio Medical Marijuana: More Affordable and Accessible in the Near Future
The Ohio Senate recently passed SB 261, which will improve the state-run medical marijuana program and make cannabis more accessible and affordable for Ohio patients in the very near future. This bill just needs to pass a vote in the State House, before being signed into law.
In addition to SB 261, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy has already approved a major expansion of dispensaries and cultivators in Ohio, as well as new rules increasing the 90-day purchase limits and making them easier to understand.
With these new rules and regulations already in the works, they will take less time to implement than legal recreational marijuana sales in Ohio.
Advantages of Having a Medical Marijuana Card Vs. Waiting for Recreational Sales
There are plenty of advantages to having your medical marijuana card over waiting for recreational sales to be legal. Here are the top reasons to get your card now:
1. You’ll Have Immediate Access to Legal Marijuana Products
You don’t need to delay your access to natural relief any longer. Getting a medical marijuana card in Ohio is an easy process, and most adults in the state already qualify with the list of 25 approved conditions.
2. Incredible Variety at Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Near You
Once you have a card, you can buy medical marijuana at any dispensary in Ohio. Cultivators and processors have had a few years to get their products just right for the medical marijuana program, and there is a wide variety to choose from.
Medical marijuana comes in a number of formats, including flower, concentrates and extracts, tinctures, edibles and topicals. If SB 261 is signed into law, medical marijuana patients will soon also be able to enjoy capsules, oral strips, inhalers and more.
It is doubtful that recreational marijuana will come with the same options, and there may be a major shortage of recreational marijuana supply as the program gets underway. One of the main concerns is the ability of cultivators and processors to keep up with demand when recreational sales begin.
3. Lower Prices for Medical Marijuana
Until recreational marijuana supply catches up with demand, recreational products will likely be significantly more expensive than medical products. Medical cannabis dispensaries in Ohio are constantly running promotional deals to make buying your medicine more affordable, veterans and people who qualify for indigent status get discounted medical marijuana cards and products at dispensaries, and this Ohio Dispensary Savings Guide will help you stretch your budget to make the most of every dollar you spend on medical marijuana.
4. Lower Taxes for Medical Marijuana
In addition to medical marijuana in Ohio coming with a lower base price, the taxes will be lower as well. Medical marijuana comes only with the standard sales tax of 5.75 percent. Under the measure proposed by CTRMLA, there would be an additional tax of 10 percent on recreational marijuana sales, bringing the total tax for adult-use cannabis up to 15.75 percent.
While the higher taxes for recreational marijuana would be going to excellent causes (social equity and jobs programs, support for localities where cannabis businesses operate, education and substance misuse programs, etc.), lower taxes still means more savings for medical marijuana patients in Ohio over those who chose to wait for recreational sales.
5. Tailored Products for Your Symptoms
More Americans are currently using marijuana for medicinal purposes than simply to get high. To help manage their anxiety, their chronic pain, and other symptoms that are alleviated with cannabis.
Medical marijuana products are processed and manufactured with your health and treatment goals in mind. Recreational marijuana products are generally a little less regulated; and they are intended for a recreational market so it’s more difficult to know what you’re getting.
Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Ohio Today, to Start Getting Natural Relief Tomorrow!
What are you waiting for? Getting an Ohio marijuana card opens the door to finding great natural products that will help you meet your health and wellness goals in 2022! And the Ohio medical marijuana program is about to get even better in the coming months!
You don’t have to wait a year or more to get access to natural relief and fun cannabis products when you have an Ohio marijuana card. Give our patient support experts a call at (866) 457-5559 to get all your questions answered, or simply make an appointment online to see an Ohio medical marijuana doctor today!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
Here at Ohio Marijuana Card, our goal is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at (866) 457-5559, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Ohio Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Ohio.