Ohio Senate Says No to Legalization of Recreational Cannabis

OH Senate Rejects Recreational Cannabis
By Andrew Ward Updated March 8th

Fact-checked by Deb Tharp

As cannabis legalization grows across the US, anti-pot proponents continue to wield enough influence in some states to block what appears to be the people's will. In February 2022, Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman rejected a popular adult use measure despite roughly 133,000 citizen signatures urging lawmakers to take action. 

While this means Ohioans will have to wait for adult use cannabis a bit longer, this isn’t an unexpected outcome. And the decision not to consider the measure doesn’t mean the dream for adult-use cannabis in Ohio is over. 

"If that means people want to go put it on the ballot, have at it," said Sen. Huffman in response to the decision. 

Keep scrolling to learn more about the state's legalization prospects and how Ohio voters can help tip the scales in the fight for legalization. And check back regularly as we sift through the latest developments in the state to answer the burning question, “When will weed be legal in Ohio?”

Why Isn't Recreational Cannabis Coming to OH?

Ohio Senate declines to consider cannabis legalization measure

Ohio legalization efforts hit a roadblock in the Senate when Sen. Huffman, the House Majority Leader, said he doubted Governor Mike DeWine would sign a bill into law if it passed. Additional concerns came from legislative opposition, ensuring that the legislation would face a steep uphill battle in the statehouse, at best. 

With the dual concerns looming, the Senate refused to consider the measure. 

Still, the opposition wasn’t unexpected, and the campaign is now actively gathering the additional signatures needed to advance the measure to the November ballot. 

Ohioans Control Their Own Destiny With Recreational Cannabis

It is up to the citizens to be the driving force in Ohio marijuana legalization efforts. The potential for legislators to consider the measure was just a pit stop on the way to legalization. The group leading the measure, Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, can still obtain the needed signatures to get onto the November 2022 ballot. 

To bring the measure to legislators, organizers had to gather 3% of the signatures of Ohio voters (according to the number of voters in the last gubernatorial election). Now that the legislature refused to consider the initiative, organizers must go out and get 3% more signatures to get the initiative added to the ballot for the November election. 

If enough signatures are gathered and authenticated by July 6, 2022 (a very obtainable number given the efforts from the Coalition), citizens will be able to vote on the measure. If it receives approval, the citizen's decision would compel lawmakers to pass regulations.

How Will the Proposal Change Cannabis in Ohio If It Passes?

The initiative put forth by the group Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol includes recreational parameters allowing adults 21 and over to possess up to 2.5 ounces of pot and 15 grams of extracted cannabis products. Home cultivation would be permitted, allowing each person to grow six plants, capped at 12 plants per household. 

The measure also includes a 10% sales tax, a lower figure than most states. Tax revenue would support developing dispensaries and substance abuse programs. 

When Can Adults Buy Cannabis in Ohio?

Unfortunately, the answer is undecided at this time. 

With lawmakers unable to make progress on a bipartisan bill aimed at autism spectrum treatment, some citizens don't expect full-scale legalization to pass anytime soon. Others believe legalization could happen in November. Recent polls show the vote could go either way. While waiting, those who qualify have turned to the state medical marketplace. 

Medical patients in Ohio can obtain their doctor's recommendation and ID card online using telemedicine platforms. Learn more about the Ohio medical cannabis marketplace to see if you qualify for an ID card. And if you can, consider joining one of Ohio's local cannabis advocacy groups to help bring legal pot to the Buckeye State. 

Get Your Ohio Medical Card Online Get approved today in minutes with the nation's #1 trusted medical card provider. Get Your Med Card No appointment needed. Only billed if approved.

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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