United States

Ohio Legalizes Recreational Marijuana, Sale & Purchase Laws Under Construction

Ohioans above 21 years of age can smoke marijuana starting today. Gov. DeWine wants medical dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana in order to prevent black marketing. Here is what the bill proposes.

Ohio legalizes recreational marijuana
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Ohio voted for the legalization of recreational marijuana on Wednesday and became 24th state to legalize marijuana for adults. The Ohioans are free to smoke marijuana legally on Thursday but cannot purchase the same as the bill would take effect 90 days after it’s enacted.

The voters passed Issue 2 with 57% votes on November 7. This legalizes the sale, purchase and possession of the substance for Ohioans of age 21 and above. Lawmakers are currently debating on how to change the implementation of Issue 2 through two opposing bills: House Bill 354, which is awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives, and House Bill 86, which was approved by the Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 28 to 2. Governor Mike DeWine defended House Bill (H.B.) 86 during a press conference on Wednesday night, stating that the bill will aid in preventing a "black market."

The proposed amendments:

  • Keep the maximum THC content for plant material at 35% and lower it from 90% to 50% for extracts.
  • Restrict the number of marijuana plants per home to six, which is fewer than the twelve allowed under Issue 2.
  • Prohibition of child-oriented advertisements and kid-safe packaging. 
  • Prohibition of marijuana use in public places.
  • 15% sales tax on marijuana, with county-level levies optional.
  • Expungement of convictions for possession of 2.5 ounces or less of the drug. People would have to submit an application to the court.

Although Issue 2 is currently in force, recreational cannabis would not be instantly sold in dispensaries. Sales cannot start until the newly formed ‘Division of Cannabis Control’, finishes the licensing and regulation procedures. The division has nine months to specify the requirements for facility certification.

The state's medical marijuana shops would be able to offer recreational marijuana to people 21 and older, according to H.B. 86, which would enable the buying and selling of marijuana considerably sooner.

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