Reps. Weinstein and Upchurch introduce petition initiative bill to legalize adult-use cannabis
COLUMBUS—State Reps. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) and Terrence Upchurch (D-Cleveland) filed bill language today to formally introduce the initiated statute sponsored by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which seeks to legalize recreational adult-use cannabis in Ohio. The Coalition submitted the petition language and approximately 207,000 signatures to the legislature on Jan. 28, 2022. If the General Assembly fails to act and pass the language within the four month deadline prescribed by the Ohio Constitution, the Coalition has the option to collect additional signatures to submit the proposal directly to the voters in November.
“Marijuana legalization is overdue in Ohio,” said Rep. Weinstein. “The hundreds of thousands of Ohio voters who signed this petition—and millions more who support legalization statewide—asked for action from our legislature. Instead, GOP leaders have ignored them.”
“Legalizing cannabis would create good-paying jobs and generate significant revenue for our state. We must listen to the overwhelming support from voters and take action to finally legalize cannabis in Ohio,” said Rep. Upchurch.
This Act would allow for cannabis cultivation, possession, and use by adults ages 21 years old and older, including possession of up to 2.5 ounces of any form of cannabis. The Act would also levy a 10% adult-use sales tax on products with revenue going toward purposes including substance abuse and addiction research, social equity and job creation, and directly to those communities with dispensaries.
In July 2021, Reps. Weinstein and Upchurch introduced House Bill (HB) 382, the first legislative effort to legalize cannabis in Ohio. HB 382 has been assigned to the House Finance Committee and is awaiting its first hearing.
This bill now awaits a number and committee assignment.