2022 Promises To Be A Big Year For Cannabis Laws In Ohio

CANNANNEW REPORT

11 January 2022 by Robert A. Zimmerman , Cheryl Burchard , Rachel Winder and Kristopher Chandler Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff If 2021 was the appetizer, expect 2022 to be the main course for cannabis laws in Ohio. Three separate efforts were launched in 2021 to expand upon Ohio’s existing medical marijuana program. In July, two Democratic State Representatives introduced a bill (HB 382) to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Ohio. Among other things, the bill would allow for adult cultivation and possession of marijuana, expungement of criminal records for previous marijuana offenses, and a 10% excise tax on sales. The bill has not advanced. In December 2021, a similar proposal labeled the Ohio Adult Use Act (House Bill 498) was introduced by two Republican State Representatives to extend Ohio’s current medical marijuana program to include non-medicinal adult use, putting in place a responsible, highly regulated framework for the growth, processing, distribution, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for Ohioans 21 and over. Under the bill, Ohio’s successful Medical Marijuana Control Program would be extended to also regulate the non-medical cultivation, processing, sale, and adult-use of cannabis products. It would be renamed the Division of Marijuana Control to reflect its role in running both the medical marijuana and adult-use programs. HB 498 is still waiting to be scheduled for a hearing in the House Finance Committee. Also in December, The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol filed more than 200,000 petition signatures with the Ohio Secretary of State in support of an initiated law to expand the legal use of marijuana. Under the proposal, Ohioans 21 and older could buy and use marijuana recreationally, just like alcohol. Limited personal cultivation of the plant would be allowed, and existing licensed medical marijuana cultivators could expand their facilities. Existing licensed cultivators and dispensaries would eventually be…

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