Ohio bill would allow municipalities to ban adult-use marijuana

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An Ohio lawmaker has introduced a bill that would allow municipalities in the state to prohibit adult-use marijuana operators within their borders and impose additional MJ business taxes.

The state’s voters approved a recreational cannabis market on Nov. 7, but Republican Gov. Mike DeWine immediately called for changes to the legislation.

DeWine gave Ohio lawmakers 30 days to adjust the new law, which corresponds with a Dec. 7 deadline the ballot initiative set for parts of the statute to take effect.

House Bill 341 – introduced Tuesday by Republican Rep. Gary Click – contravenes the voter-approved ballot measure, Issue 2, on two key points, according to The (Cincinnati) Enquirer.

The new law:

  • Prohibits municipalities from banning adult-use businesses.
  • Imposes a 10% tax on recreational marijuana purchases – on top of the state’s sales tax – and prohibits municipalities from imposing additional taxes.

HB 341, meanwhile, would eliminate “those provisions altogether, which would empower municipalities to regulate cannabis within their boundaries” as well as “impose additional taxes,” The Enquirer reported.

It’s an open question whether the state Legislature can satisfy the governor’s wishes before the law goes into effect Dec. 7.

Regardless, because of the business licensing process, recreational marijuana sales in Ohio are not expected to begin until summer or fall of 2024, the newspaper reported.