Last night Ohio overwhelmingly voted (57%-43%) to become the 24th state to legalize cannabis in the United States. What does this mean?
- The law becomes effective on December 7, 2023.
- A Division of Cannabis Control is created within the Ohio Department of Commerce to implement rules, license operators, and generally regulate and enforce the program.
- A new round of licensing will ensue – a minimum of 40 cultivator licenses and 50 retailer licenses will be issued.
- A social equity program will be implemented and social equity applicants will receive some level of preference in the issuance of the initial licenses.
- Existing medical cannabis companies can participate.
- Municipalities have the option to opt out of allowing new cannabis companies in their jurisdiction but cannot prevent existing medical cannabis companies from participating.
- Authorize individuals 21 years or older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and up to 15 grams of cannabis concentrates.
- Home grow is permitted – up to 6 plants per individual; up to 12 plants per household.
- 10% tax will be levied on all cannabis sales.
With adult-use cannabis now being legal in Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York, Pennsylvania is now essentially an island. Most of Pennsylvania’s most populous cities are within a 30-minute drive of a now cannabis-legal state – every day Pennsylvania remains an island it loses out on potential tax dollars to neighboring states. Will this new development prompt Pennsylvania to speed up its consideration of adult-use cannabis? Only time will tell – check back here for updates!