Ohio State Capitol Building in Columbus, Ohio.

Jim Bowen

Ohio Ballot Board Certifies Rec. Cannabis Ballot Initiative

The Ohio Ballot Board has certified the ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for recreational use in the state, the Dayton Daily News reports. The group behind the initiative, Ohio Families for Change, now must collect 305,591 valid signatures from 44 of the state’s 88 counties – and, within each county, the group must collect enough signatures equal to 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor.

This is the eighth cannabis legalization proposal approved by the Ballot Board in five years and just the 2015 effort by ResponsibleOhio made it to the ballot. That measure was rejected by voters, partly because of pro-cannabis activist opposition to language that would have given campaign investors a monopoly on sales.

The Ohio Families for Change constitutional amendment proposal:

  • Allows adults 21-and-older to possess, grow, use, sell, and share cannabis;
  • Has residency requirements for businesses;
  • Allows landlords and employers to prohibit cannabis-related activities;
  • Does not change the state’s already approved – but not yet implemented – medical cannabis program;
  • Allows the General Assembly to write laws governing impairment, public use, and restrictions for minors.

Medical cannabis sales are expected to begin in Ohio on Sept. 8. Officials are still writing rules, reviewing applications, and inspecting operations for the industry, which was approved by Gov. John Kasich in 2015.

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