COLUMBUS, Ohio — APRIL 20: Supporters of legalized marijuana gather to smoke products containing CBD and other cannabis related items, April 20, 2023, outside the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Graham Stokes for Ohio Capital Journal)

BY:  Ohio Capital Journal

Not enough valid signatures were collected to put recreational marijuana on Ohio’s November ballot.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol submitted 123,367 valid signatures, but 124,046 signatures were needed. Supporters will now have 10 days to collect the needed 679 valid signatures.

“It looks like we came up a little short in this first phase, but now we have 10 days to find just 679 voters to sign a supplemental petition – this is going to be easy, because a majority of Ohioans support our proposal to regulate and tax adult use marijuana,” Tom Haren, a spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said in a statement.

This would legalize and regulate cultivation, manufacturing, testing and sale of marijuana to Ohioans 21 and up.

It would also legalize home grow for Ohioans 21 and up with a limit of six plants per person and 12 plants per residence, and impose a 10% tax at the point of sale for each transaction.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 223,176 signatures earlier this month.

 COLUMBUS, Ohio — JUNE 05: Field staffers for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol deliver boxes containing petitions with 222,198 signatures to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, July 5, 2023, at the loading dock of the Office of the Ohio Secretary of State, 180 E Broad St in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Graham Stokes for Ohio Capital Journal. Republish photo only with original article.) 

Franklin County submitted the most valid signatures with 26,090, followed up by Hamilton County with 18,097 and Cuyahoga County with 14,073.

The proposal was submitted by citizens through an initiated statute, so it is not an amendment to the state’s constitution and is not affected by Issue 1. Early voting for Aug. 8’s special election is currently underway where Ohioans will decide if they want to make it harder to amend the state’s constitution.

Twenty-three states and Washington D.C. have legalized the recreational use and sale of cannabis.

Medical marijuana

Ohio legalized medical marijuana in 2016, but the first dispensary didn’t open until 2019.

There are 370,287 registered patients in Ohio and 174,591 patients with both an active registration and an active recommendation as of May 31, according to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.

House Bill 168

There is another way recreational marijuana could be legalized in Ohio.

State Reps. Jamie Callender, R-Concord, and Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, introduced House Bill 168 in May which would allow Ohioans 21 and older to cultivate, purchase and possess marijuana.

The bipartisan bill is currently in House committee.

Follow OCJ Reporter Megan Henry on Twitter.

Megan Henry

Megan Henry is a reporter for the Ohio Capital Journal and has spent the past five years reporting in Ohio on various topics including education, healthcare, business and crime. She previously worked at The Columbus Dispatch, part of the USA Today Network.


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