Ohio Medical Marijuana Owners Submit New Legalization Proposal To Improve Business

Medical marijuana businesses in Ohio are proposing a new step to legalize the use of cannabis so that it can be available to more people. The business owners have drawn up a state law and plan to present it before the legislators before it is put in front of the voters.

The attempt this time around is different from the failed legalization bid in 2015, when they had tried to get it passed in the state Constitution.

On Tuesday, marijuana business owners who are in support of the measure submitted more than 1,000 signatures to the Ohio attorney general's office. The attorney general has a time period of 10 days to study the summary of the proposed law, which is present on the petitions to ensure it is a "fair and truthful" representation of the measure.

"We think we have a proposal here that checks all the boxes," said Cleveland-based cannabis attorney Tom Haren, who is the spokesperson for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

As per the proposed law, people in Ohio aged 21 and older will be legally allowed to purchase and possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis and 15 grams of concentrates. They can also grow up to six plants in secure spaces at their home, the proposal added.

The new legalization measure deems that a 10 percent tax be applied, with the proceeds being directed to local municipalities with marijuana businesses, substance abuse and addiction programs and their subsequent operations. Local governments would also be given the power to prohibit or limit marijuana businesses from flourishing in their communities.

Ohio's prevalent medical marijuana program allows the state's existing 34 cultivators, 47 processors and 58 dispensaries to secure medical marijuana licenses for the recreational market almost exclusively for the first two years.

If the new proposal becomes law, then 40 new cultivation licenses and 50 additional dispensary licenses will be made available for "social equity" applicants, who come from economically backward conditions or belong to a racial/ethnic minority or their families have been affected by marijuana crimes and their aftermath.

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