SHOULD OHIO GO GREEN?
Voters will soon decide whether recreational cannabis is right for Ohio.
The most recent polling for State Issue 2 indicates that 59% of eligible voters in Ohio support the initiated legislation, according to its backers, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.
Ohio’s medical marijuana program has some 400,000 registered patients, but some 1.85 million Ohio adults – 16% of the population – in a 2021 federal survey reported they’d used marijuana within the past year.
For one, legalization would create a regulated, taxed business to replace an illicit market, and as an employer, he’s not worried.
As of Oct. 1, in Michigan, they’ve ended pre-employment marijuana testing for state jobs.
“The cannabis industry continues to bring technology-leading, high-paying jobs into the Great Lakes State,” the Michigan chamber said this July in a statement supporting federal banking legislation for the industry.
Employers still can have drug-free policies. But ending convictions for possession also will remove barriers to education and employment.
What would happen to the existing medical marijuana industry in Ohio?
The law would first issue recreational licenses to Ohio’s medical operators and allow cultivators to expand and add dispensaries. The state had 34 cultivators and 106 dispensaries as of Oct. 3, many owned by publicly traded companies.
The law also would create 40 new cultivator and 50 additional dispensary licenses with a preference for applicants from a social equity and jobs program funded by the excise tax.
Ohioans have been heading north even if they have medical marijuana cards because of lower prices. State regulators do not track customer residency.
Medical sales have evaporated in Michigan as the recreational market took off. Most dispensaries simply give discounts to medical card holders to make up for the excise tax.