Good news for all the cannabis consumers in Ohio: Yesterday, a referendum legalizing cannabis was easily adopted by Ohioans.
With the vote, Ohio becomes the 24th state in the union to legalize cannabis for adult use, continuing a trend that has seen more conservative states create legal markets. With Ohio joining the legal market, 53% of Americans currently reside in a state where cannabis is lawfully owned by anyone who is at least 21 years old.
Thanks to the new law, adults over 21 can now possess up to 2.5 ounces of weed and cultivate up to six plants. The law establishes the Division of Cannabis Control, whose job it is to set up and oversee the adult-use cannabis industry.
The regulations allow for the licensing of more operators based on market needs, but they also give established medical operators first dibs on the adult-use market.
A ten percent tax will be applied to cannabis. According to a study from Ohio State University, the state will make almost $300 million in revenue from legal cannabis each year.
Ohio will rank as the fourth largest state with a recreational market, with a population of 11.8 million. According to MJBizDaily, sales of cannabis for adult use might total $4 billion by the fourth year of its legalization.
Since people of those states would indeed be crossing the border to purchase marijuana in Ohio and so contribute to the state’s tax revenue, the opening of the state’s cannabis market will also probably put pressure on bordering states Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana.
If the proposal is done precisely as planned, sales are expected to begin by the end of 2024.
However, there may be a protracted legislative struggle over changes because the Republican-dominated Legislature opposes the initiative. That would probably cause implementation to be delayed and perhaps even create a resolute black market.