CLEVELAND — Legal marijuana is coming to Ohio one way or another, many industry experts agree. The questions are: will Ohio be ready when it happens and how will it change the state’s existing, heavily-regulated medical program?
At the federal level, Democrats have already introduced the MORE Act, which would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, expunge criminal records, and clear the way to resolve some banking issues that cannabis companies across the nation say they’ve experienced because of cannabis’ dubious legal position.
Ohio is watching two separate paths to adult-use legalization develop, one through the traditional legislative process and the other through an initiated statute by a group called Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol.
Kevin Barry Dried marijuana plants being processed at Galenas’ cultivation facility in Akron.
Both would legalize the possession of marijuana for personal use for anyone older than 21 years of age, potentially creating a substantial tax revenue stream that doesn’t exist right now.
Here are the main ways each option would change marijuana law in Ohio:
End marijuana prohibitionCreates the Division of Cannabis Control in the Ohio Department of Commerce for regulationAllows medical marijuana cultivators and dispensaries to expand to the adult-use marketCreates a