Ohio Ballot Board Unanimously Gives Approval to Marijuana Legalization Initiative

The Ohio Ballot Board has voted unanimously to advance an initiative to legalize marijuana, the last step necessary for it to be placed on the November, 2023 ballot.

Last week Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose notified the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol that the group had submitted enough signatures to qualify for the November, 2023 ballot. Now, the Ohio Ballot Board has voted 5 to 0 to approve the initiative’s draft ballot language, the last step necessary for the measure to make the November ballot.

If approved by voters this November, 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.

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.

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