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Ohio to Hold ‘Cannabis Election’ in November

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Aug 18, 2023   
A dispensary sign.

Image credit: iStock

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Ohioans will have the chance to legalize recreational, adult-use cannabis on November 7 this year.

The announcement came from Ohio’s secretary of state, Frank LaRose, on Wednesday, August 16.

If voters approve the measure, cannabis will become legal to buy for any adult in Ohio aged 21 and over. According to CNN, adults would be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces (70.9 grams) of most forms of cannabis and sales would be subjected to a 10% tax.

The proposal would establish a division within the state’s Department of Commerce to oversee licensing and regulation of the new industry. The state’s Department of Development would also be required to study whether previous cannabis laws disproportionately impacted certain communities.

The ‘cannabis election’ was first proposed by state advocates who gathered enough signatures to get the proposal on a ballot. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol (CRMLA) group submitted 127,772 valid signatures (more than the 124,046 required to qualify for the ballot) to the Ohio Office of the Secretary of State; the bulk of signatures were filed on July 5; some supplementary signatures were added on August 3.

“I cannot express our thanks enough to everyone who came out to support this effort,” Tom Haren, a CRMLA spokesperson, wrote on August 3.

“This submission validates what we’ve said all along: regulating marijuana is popular in Ohio. We’re looking forward to giving Ohio voters a chance to make their voices heard at the ballot this fall.”

Ohio has had a legal medical cannabis market since January 2019.


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