Ohio House Bill Filed to Alter Legal Marijuana Law, Would Make Far Less Changes Than Senate Alternative

Legislation that would make alterations to voter-approved Issue 2 has been introduced in Ohio’s House of Representatives.

State Representative Jamie Callender (R) has filed House Bill 354, a measure that would make some changes to Issue 2 while not going nearly as far as a measure recently passed through the Senate General Government Committee (that bill is scheduled for a vote of the full Senate tomorrow). Introduction of the measure comes just two days before Issue 2 takes effect, allowing everyone 21 and older to possess and grow marijuana for recreational use.

Whereas the Senate bill would completely ban the personal cultivation of marijuana, the House bill would retain the right, and it would also make no changes to the possession limit established under Issue 2, which voters approved 57% to 43%.

Representative Callender says that on this issue, the House should not compromise.

“I think the middle ground is we do what the people voted and told us to do, which is six plants per person and 12 per household”, he said.

Representative Callender’s measure is cosponsored by Representative Casey Weinstein (D), giving it bipartisan support. Weinstein says the measure recently approved through the Senate General Government Committee is  “a purposeful kill shot” to legalization.

What House Bill 354 would do, is add a 10% tax on marijuana cultivators, which would be in addition to the 10% tax on marijuana sales established under Issue 2. The proposal would also apply to marijuana the same ban on smoking in public as is in place for tobacco, and it would also place the same advertising restrictions on marijuana as tobacco.

Unlike the Senate bill, House Bill 354 would not lower Issue 2’s THC limit of 35% for flower and 90% for concentrates, and it would not require those possessing marijuana to prove that it was purchased from a licensed marijuana store (which aren’t expected to open for many months).

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