Renewed recreational marijuana legalization drive launches in Ohio

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Cannabis advocates in Ohio are launching a new campaign to legalize recreational marijuana after state legislators failed to pass a previous citizen-initiated adult-use legalization initiative by a May 3 deadline.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has until July 5 to collect roughly 124,000 signatures to put a marijuana legalization question on the ballot for Ohio’s November election, according to Columbus TV station WCMH.

“We’re building on an existing medical marijuana program that is popular, shown that it can be effective and provide safe, tested products to Ohio medical patients,” Coalition spokesperson Tom Haren told WCMH.

According to the TV station, the legalization proposal would:

  • Give licensing priority to existing medical marijuana licensees.
  • Levy a 10% tax on adult-use cannabis sales.
  • Allow home cannabis cultivation.

A previous Ohio ballot initiative to legalize adult use was taken off the ballot in November 2022 as part of a settlement between the Coalition and Republican lawmakers that pushed the issue to this year.

As for Ohio’s medical marijuana program, the 2023 MJBiz Factbook projects that MMJ sales could reach $575 million this year.