Ohio Ballot Board Approves Legalization Bid’s Language

Ohio cannabis advocates are set to start gathering signatures after the Ohio Ballot Board formally approved a cannabis legalization ballot initiative.

Full story after the jump.

The Ohio Ballot Board approved the language of the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s latest cannabis legalization ballot initiative effort, News 5 Cleveland reports. Following this approval, the legalization statute will be formally recognized as a single issue moving forward, clearing another hurdle in the push for cannabis reforms.

The proposal would legalize cannabis for Ohio adults aged 21 or older and would allow for the possession and purchase of up to two and a half ounces of cannabis flower and the home growing of up to six plants.

Advocates can now begin the process of gathering enough signatures—nearly 133,000—to send the issue to lawmakers for their consideration. If officials fail to adopt the plan after four months, however, the group can then collect an additional 133,000 signatures to put their initiative on the 2022 ballot.

“We’re happy with today’s outcome and believe the ballot board made the right call on this one. We look forward to beginning the signature collection process and working with our state legislators to create a safe, legal, and highly regulated cannabis market in Ohio.” — Tom Haren, spokesperson for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

The legalization proposal includes tax earmarks for social equity considerations, funding for dispensary host communities, and addiction treatment and education services, according to the group’s website.

Ohio voters rejected a legalization proposal in 2015 which had been heavily criticized by cannabis opponents and proponents alike for attempting to reserve cannabis business licenses for a group of anonymous, wealthy investors.

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