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Senate Republicans Revise Ohio Recreational Marijuana Law

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ohio recreational marijuana, ohio issue 2, ohio legislature

COLUMBUS, Ohio (420CanNews) — With Ohio passing Issue 2 last month legalizing recreational marijuana, the state Senate approved changes to the law despite the measure having 57% voter support. While the new Ohio recreational marijuana law took effect December 7, the Senate GOP introduced changes to the bill at the eleventh hour on Wednesday. 

Senate-Approved Changes to Issue 2 

Growing marijuana at homeLimit of 12 plants per household decreased to 6
Marijuana sales taxIncrease of tax rate from 10% to 15%Local governments allowed to add an extra 3% on top
Previous marijuana possession convictionsAutomatic expungement of record introduced for convictions of 2.5 ounces or less
Recreational marijuana sales start dateOriginal timeline of nine months shortened to 90 days after the bill is signed into law
Possession limits2.5 ounces of flower and 15 grams of extract remain the same 
THC level limitsFlower remains the same at 35%
Extracts reduced from 90% to 50%
Number of dispensaries350 in the state at one time remains the same

Public Health and Equity Concerns Driving Revisions

The reasoning behind the Senate GOP’s revisions involves concerns about increased public use and impaired driving with legalization, though data from other states disputes these notions. Senate Republicans also seek to fund more drug-recognition experts for enforcement and voiced opposition to the social equity provisions written into Ohio Issue 2, like licensing priority for those with past convictions—a disproportionate amount of whom are people of color.

Advocates Gear Up for Fight Over Home Grow, Social Justice

Legalization supporters including advocates, lawmakers, and industry groups argue these changes erode the law’s foundations and defy the will of over 2 million voters. They call for input from communities impacted by prohibition. National groups like the ACLU and NORML vow to defend so-called “home grow” rights and social equity concerns, which could face legal challenges.

Sweeping Divergences From Voter-Approved Measure

Further details of the Republican’s House Bill 86 represent major departures from the original voter-approved measure:

  • Restricts marijuana use to strictly occur within the confines of private residences.
  • Allows local bans on marijuana businesses through zoning rules, overriding the statewide regulated sales framework.
  • Reduced THC potency limitations on extracts is below the limits in neighboring states, with analysts saying it could hamper supply quality, safety standardization, and industry viability while bolstering illicit market competition.
  • Imposes testing standards that hamper Ohio’s hemp industry and CBD access by prohibiting sales of full-spectrum products containing even trace THC levels.

Further Changes Loom Amid House-Senate Divisions

Ultimately, observers expect further compromise to occur given the divide in Ohio’s legislature between the Senate seeking these changes and the House listening to input from businesses, health groups, and advocates less amenable to sweeping revisions. Regardless, recreational use and possession is now legal in Ohio after millions of Buckeye State voters approved it barely a month ago, but when and where it can be purchased remains undecided.

Whether the news is about Ohio cannabis legalization or other similar news referring to Ohio recreational marijuana law, be sure to find the best platform for cannabis news. When it comes to the best news aggregator, 420CanNews is the one. We offer the most credible and informative cannabis news in just one click. 

— Story Filed By 420CanNews Staff

Here’s More Information on the Topic:

Ohio Senate Votes to Approve Changes to Issue 2

Ohio’s Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Goes Into Effect, GOP Proposes Sweeping Changes

New Ohio House Bill Seeks to Modify Marijuana Law Before It Takes Effect Next Week

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Ohio GOP Senate President Outlines Plan To Amend Voter-Approved Marijuana Law Next Week, Days Before Legalization Takes Effect

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Ohio Senate Committee Advances Bill To Eliminate Marijuana Home Grow, Reduce Possession Limits And Raise Taxes—Days Before Legalization Takes Effect