What’s next for recreational marijuana efforts in Ohio?

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 2:58 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Recreational marijuana use isn’t currently legal in Ohio but there are efforts underway to make it happen.

There are separate marijuana-related bills proposed by both Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature but Gov. DeWine and Republican leaders oppose recreational marijuana legislation, so the issue will likely come down to the voters in November.

A citizen-led petition drive to legalize and regulate marijuana in Ohio, organized by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, collected more than 130,000 signatures at the end of last year, formally sending the proposal to the legislature. The proposal would legalize recreational marijuana for those 21 and older, allowing them to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

It would implement a 10% sales tax on marijuana products. The revenue would go toward things like combating substance abuse, addiction research, social equity efforts, and job creation.

If lawmakers don’t act on it by the end of May, which appears likely, another petition drive will start to collect 130,000 signatures to get the proposal on the November ballot. That petition has to be submitted before July 6 to get on the November ballot. If voters pass the measure, it would become law on Dec. 8, 2022.

Researchers at The Ohio State University project that revenue from sales could reach $374 million by its fifth year in operation. The study looked at other states, including Michigan, which brought in $155 million in revenue for the stat last year on $1.1 billion in retail sales. You can read the OSU publication below.

A timeline of the process is shown below.

The Ohio State University created a flow chart reflecting the Ohio Initiated State Process for...
The Ohio State University created a flow chart reflecting the Ohio Initiated State Process for An Act to Control and Regulate Adult Use Cannabis(Ohio State University)

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