Ohio voters will consider a proposal to allow adult-use cannabis in the state this fall.
A ballot measure supported by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has secured 127,772 valid signatures, more than the required 124,046, the AP reported last week. Voters will see the question on ballots for the Nov. 7 election.
The measure would allow adults age 21 and over to purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, as well as grow their own plants. Furthermore, a 10% tax would be applied to purchases to support cities with dispensaries, addiction treatment programs, social equity initiatives and administrative costs.
In 2022, organizers submitted signatures to put the adult-use initiative in front of the Ohio legislature, but lawmakers argued Secretary of State Frank LaRose had not submitted them properly for it to be considered that year. The coalition filed suit, and a settlement was reached to allow the initiative to go before the legislature this year.
Ohio lawmakers had until May 3 to consider the proposal. Since the legislature did not act, organizers collected signatures once more in order to place the question on the ballot.
The coalition submitted 222,198 signatures in July, but the Secretary of State’s office determined it fell short of the required 124,046 valid signatures. The group submitted 6,545 signatures Aug. 3, nearly 10 times more than the 679 it still needed.
“Our issue will authorize the possession and use of marijuana by adults 21 and over and provide a framework for the state to ensure proper regulation and fair taxation,” coalition spokesman Tom Haren said in July. “This isn’t ground-breaking. We’re just trying to get Ohio in line with neighbors like Michigan and Illinois.”
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is registered as a political action committee. It has generated more than $4.6 million in contributions, Ballotpedia reported. The Marijuana Policy Project is the coalition’s largest donor, contributing $2.525 million.
Ohio legalized medical cannabis through the legislature in 2016, but sales under the program didn’t begin until 2019.
If voters adopt the measure in November, Ohio will become the 24th state allowing adult-use cannabis.