Buckeye Duo Formally Files Adult-Use Cannabis Bill in Ohio

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<![CDATA[A pair of Ohio lawmakers officially put their plans into action July 30 by formally filing adult-use cannabis legislation in the state’s House—the first of its kind in the state. Democratic Reps. Casey Weinstein and Terrence Upchurch, both representing Northeast Ohio districts, first introduced their 180-page bill two weeks ago, which includes four major components: decriminalization, a cannabis excise tax, commerce and licensing, and medical cannabis. More specifically, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control program would remain intact, and licensed operators could pursue additional licenses to enter the adult-use market. According to a memo Weinstein and Upchurch sent to fellow House members two weeks ago, the bill would enable municipalities to restrict the type and number of cannabis establishments operating within their jurisdictions and require the Department of Commerce to adopt rules related to the licensure of cannabis businesses. And the bill would impose restrictions on the cultivation, processing, transportation and sale of cannabis. Also, the legislation would allow adults 21 and older to buy and possess up to 5 ounces of cannabis and grow as many as 12 plants for personal use. “It’s time to lead Ohio forward,” Weinstein said in a joint press release issued Friday. “This is a big step for criminal justice reform, for our veterans, for economic opportunity, and for our individual liberties.” On the map, Ohio’s neighbor to the northwest, Michigan began commercial sales of adult-use cannabis in December 2019 and has attracted Ohioans’ business since. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania state lawmakers are knocking on legalization’s door to the east. As for criminal justice reform, Ohio’s jails and prisons incarcerated 68,528 people in 2019. As of 2014, Blacks (1,625 per 100,000) were 5.6 times more likely to be locked up than white Ohioans (289 per 100,000), according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. In states that…

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