This week, Ohio will join the 23 other states in which recreational marijuana use is legal in the United States. The law was voted upon several weeks ago; however, it is not set to go into effect until this Thursday. Once the law does officially go into effect on 12/7/23, people 21 and older in the state will be able to legally buy marijuana. However, there is unfortunately a caveat to this. The state’s Division of Cannabis Control has actually not finalized the process for obtaining a license as a seller. This means that no businesses will yet be ready to sell any marijuana by Thursday, so citizens will be able to purchase marijuana legally, but not have any options to do so. It is not actually expected for license distribution to begin until next fall, a year after the drug became legal.
However, there are some things people can still do as of Thursday.
There are some ways in which Ohioans legally will still be able to partake in marijuana. Ohio residents, of the legal age of 21 or older, can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. They can also grow up to six plants at home individually, or up to 12 plants with two adults at home.
Whenever residents will be able to purchase marijuana, they will be able to do so while paying a 10% tax on all purchases. This 10% tax will go to admin costs, treatment services for addiction, municipalities with dispensaries, as well as social equity and job programs.
Now, many may wonder why there is an issue when it comes to issuing licenses.
The issue actually lies in many how the law was made. The law was signed into action as an initiated statute, which means it changes the Ohio Revised Code. This gives lawmakers authority to make “finishing touches” to the final law before it goes into effect. This has caused many, who initially opposed the law, to begin making attempts to change the law. Some addendums are things such as establishing prevention programs towards targeting kids with advertising. Other proposed changes have to do with who can be issued a license, as well as altering the way in which the tax money is distributed. Some believe that the tax dollars should also go to training for law enforcement.