It’s Official, Recreational Marijuana Legalization Will be on November Ballot in Ohio

An initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana for everyone 21 and older has officially made its way to the November, 2023 ballot.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose notified the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol today that the group has submitted 127,772 valid signatures from registered voters, surpassing the required 123,367.

LaRose says that “in the absence of judicial direction to the contrary, I will direct the boards of elections to place the proposed law on the November 7, 2023 General Election ballot.”

If passed into law, the initiative would legalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates, for those who are at least 21 years old. The proposal would also allow for the personal cultivation of up to six marijuana plants.

The measure would establish a licensed and regulated system of marijuana retail outlets, with marijuana sales taxed at 10%.  A Division of Cannabis Control would be established under the Department of Commerce with the authority to “license, regulate, investigate, and penalize adult use cannabis operators, adult use testing laboratories, and individuals required to be licensed.” The state would be required to issue at least 50 licensed for marijuana retail outlets.

“We are grateful to the thousands of Ohioans who helped us get to this point and are excited to bring our proposal to regulate marijuana like alcohol before Ohio voters this coming Election Day,” said Tom Haren, spokesperson for the campaign.

Polling released last month found that 58.6% of Ohio adults say they support explicitly allowing those over the age of 21 to buy and possess marijuana. Just 35% oppose the move, with 6% undecided.

According to a recently released report, the state could gain up to $403 million in new tax revenue from the legal distribution of marijuana and marijuana products to those 21 and older.

If the initiative is approved by voters in November, Ohio will become the 24th state with legal recreational marijuana.

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