A group in Ohio has already raised $36 million for a proposed ballot measure that would legalize medical and recreational cannabis – by far the most money ever generated for a state marijuana campaign.
Last year in Florida, backers of an initiative to legalize medical marijuana raised a little over $8 million in what was billed as one of the most expensive cannabis campaigns yet, but it ultimately failed at the ballot box.
The twist in Ohio is that the millions in funding have come from wealthy supporters who expect to make their money back quickly. ResponsibleOhio – the organization pushing the initiative – is promising that investor groups will own the 10 grow sites that would be allowed by the ballot measure.
So far, ResponsibleOhio has named a dozen investors who have contributed to the campaign, including a professional football player and a Hall of Fame pro baseball player, along with a number of prominent businesspeople.
These investors, along with more who haven’t been identified yet, have given $4 million to nine separate LLCs, which in turn are funding ResponsibleOhio.
The campaign has said it expects to spend in excess of $20 million on the campaign for legalization.
The proposed ballot measure has yet to be approved by the Ohio attorney general, but once it is, backers will have until July 1 to collect over 300,000 signatures to get the initiative certified for the November ballot.