November 8, 2023 12:25 pm ETEstimated Read Time: 3 Minutes
Last night, Ohio voters overwhelmingly passed Issue 2 officially legalizing recreational cannabis. This makes Ohio the 24th state to legalize recreational use. The measure passed with 57% of Ohioans voting YES on the issue.
Against All Odds: How Activists Beat Ohio’s GOP
All this was made possible by the work of activists who gathered the 127,772 signatures needed to put the initiative on the ballot. Polls from around the time the signatures were gathered showed that about 58.6% of Ohioans wanted legalization. Despite its immense popularity, the initiative nonetheless faced its share of challenges.
Legalization was initially scheduled for the state’s 2022 ballot. Republican legislators sued and succeeded in delaying the vote until 2023 — hoping to use that time to kill the initiative. Thankfully, even Ohio’s GOP-ruled legislature could not stop the train of progress.
Colation to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Spokesman, Tom Haren, spoke about Ohio’s historic moment saying:
“Marijuana is no longer a controversial issue…Ohioans demonstrated this by passing State Issue 2 in a landslide. Ohioans are being extremely clear on the future they want for our state: adult-use marijuana legal and regulated.”
What Ohioans Can Expect When The Recreational Market Opens
The new law takes effect on December 7th — 30 days after the vote. The law allows Ohioans aged 21+ to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and 15 grams of extracts.
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So, when can Ohioans expect recreational sales to start? Unfortunately, Ohio dispensaries won’t be selling any time soon. The state’s division of cannabis must first establish rules on everything from licensing to product regulations to packaging.
The state has nine months to start issuing the first round of licenses to growers, processors, and dispensaries. These first licenses are earmarked for existing medical cannabis businesses and social equity-eligible operators. Brain Kessler, CEO of Riviera Creek, a medical cannabis cultivator, says he expects the first shops will open their doors “…somewhere between mid-summer to mid-fall…”
Not keen on waiting that long to get your hands on some cannabis? Ohioans can start growing their own crops for personal use starting December 7th!
Why Ohioans Should Hold On To Your MMJ Card
With recreation on the way, does this mean medical patients should get rid of their cards? Absolutely not! Remember, recreational sales won’t even start up until NEXT SUMMER at the earliest. As if that wasn’t enough, here are just some of the benefits medical cannabis patients can enjoy that the average recreational user won’t get:
Access to High-Quality Cannabis; Don’t settle, get the best of the best cannabis products that recreational buyers don’t have access to.
Legal Protections; Cannabis’ federal legality remains a big question mark. An MMJ card provides legal protection if you’re pulled over or arrested. Remember, your peace of mind is priceless.
Cheaper Prices; Let’s face it, buying cannabis is expensive. If you’re not careful, the cost can balloon out of control. Medical card holders often enjoy tax-free purchases and a bevy of other deals.
Check out Veriheal to get your Ohio MMJ card and take advantage of these amazing benefits.
Mexico-born and California-raised, Cesar is a Marketing Associate at Veriheal. When he’s not scouring social media for the latest internet drama, you can find him working on yet another collage project.
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