Ohio GOP lawmakers trying to override voter-approved adult-use marijuana law

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A group of Ohio Republican senators proposed a wide-ranging bill that would essentially gut the marijuana law that voters overwhelmingly approved last month.

The proposed changes introduced by Republican Sen. Rob McColley, according to the Dayton Daily News, include several provisions that would override the will of voters and limit the true potential of the market, including:

  • Decreasing the number of adult-use stores from 350 to 230.
  • Limiting product potencies and marijuana possession to 1 ounce of flower and 5 grams of extracts.
  • Increase excise taxes from 10% to 15% and initiate a 15% tax on cultivators.
  • Redirect cannabis taxes to the general fund, law enforcement and substance-abuse programs. Under the voter-approved Issue 2, cannabis taxes were directed to community and social equity programs.
  • Allowing employers to fire workers for marijuana use.

Advocates for Issue 2 opposed the Senate’s plan.

The proposal “will entrench the illicit market and force Ohioans to continue to buy their cannabis products in Michigan,” Tom Haren, spokesperson for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, told the Daily News.

“This is not what voters wanted.”

The proposal would also ban smoking marijuana in public and cars and allow landlords to ban cannabis use by renters. The measure also would prohibit home grows.

Voters approved home cultivation of six plants at a time and a limit of 12 per household.

Last week, Republican Rep. Gary Click introduced House Bill 341, which would allow municipalities in the state to prohibit adult-use marijuana operators within their borders and impose additional cannabis business taxes.

Municipal opt-outs have stunted industry growth in nearly every adult-use retail market nationwide.