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Ohio Cannabis Legalization – The Latest

Ohio State Cannabis Legalization

Thursday, December 7, 2023 is the date the voter-approved cannabis legalization went into effect.

However, the state legislature is already tampering with it, which they can do under Ohio law. Originally allowing for home cultivation of up to twelve plants, opening approved sales outlets for adult consumption, with taxes collected being diverted to a ‘social equity fund’, and expungements from the records of prior convictions.

“The Republicans in the Ohio Senate have signaled for the third time just this year that they do not respect the voters of Ohio,” Bill DeMora said. A democrat, he was elected to the Ohio Senate in November 2022 and assumed office on January 1, 2023.

Bill Demora criticizing the Republicans in the Ohio State Senate chambers.

Many questions abound as the legislature is wanting to change the law so that the tax funding for social equity be diverted to law enforcemnt, removal of the expungement clause, limiting home grows to just six plants, and other draconian measures.

These include a prohibition on sharing cannabis between adult users, strict limits on allowed consumption areas, strict rules on transporting and storing cannabis, a cap on THC percentage allowed in products, and a mandatory three day jail sentence for those caught consuming cannabis in a car.

“This bill would be a slap in the face to Ohio voters who decidedly passed a voter initiative that, while imperfect, had social equity at its core,” said Cat Packer, vice chair of Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition (CRCC) and director of drug markets and legal regulation at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

Cat Packer is the director of drug markets and legal regulation at the Drug Policy Alliance, vice chair of the Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition and a distinguished cannabis policy practitioner in residence at Ohio State University Moritz College of Law’s Drug Enforcement and Policy Center. From 2017 to 2022, Cat served as the first executive director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation.