New Ohio Bill Would Fund Peace Officer Training With Marijuana Tax Revenue

Legislation was filed today in the Ohio House of Representatives to reallocate some marijuana tax revenue.

(Photo credit: Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy).

On November 7 Ohio voters approved an initiative to legalize marijuana. Portions of the law take effect on December 7, with the state required to issue licenses for marijuana businesses with nine months of passage.

As passed by voters, Issue 2 establishes a 10% tax on marijuana, with 36% going to a cannabis social equity and jobs fund, 36% to a host community cannabis facilities fund, 25% to a substance abuse and addiction fund and 3% to a division of cannabis control and tax commission fund.

House Bill 326, filed today by State Representative Cindy Abrams (R), would reallocate some of these funds in order to cover the cost of annual peace officer training.

“The General Assembly intends to annually fund peace officer training with a portion of the tax revenue from the sale of adult use marijuana, such sale being authorized by Ohio electors through their approval of Issue 2 on November 7, 2023”, states the bill.

“Peace officer”, as defined by the state, “means a sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, deputy marshal, member of the organized police department of a municipal corporation, or township constable, who is employed by a political subdivision of this state; a member of a police force employed by a metropolitan housing authority under division (D) of section 3735.31 of the Revised Code”.

House Bill 326 is expected to be the first of many bills filed in the coming days seeking to make alterations to Issue 2.

Earlier today Senate President Matt Huffman said he is interested in potentially raising the 10% sales tax on marijuana. Governor Mike DeWine has called for changes to the initiative, but says lawmakers will honor the “spirit” of the new law.

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