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Reps. Weinstein and Upchurch introduce legislation to legalize recreational marijuana

July 30, 2021
Democrat Newsroom

State Reps. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) and Terrence Upchurch (D-Cleveland) introduced legislation that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Ohio. The bill will have four major components: Decriminalization, Marijuana Excise Tax, Commerce and Licensing, and Medical Marijuana

“It’s time to lead Ohio forward,” said Rep. Weinstein. “This is a big step for criminal justice reform, for our veterans, for economic opportunity, and for our individual liberties.”

“This bill is much needed in Ohio, and it’s time for Ohio to become a national leader in marijuana decriminalization and legalization. This bill is more than just about legalization, it’s about economic and workforce development, it’s about decriminalization, and it’s about healthcare! The time is now, and I look forward to getting this done in a bipartisan fashion,” said Rep. Upchurch.

This legislation would allow for adult cultivation and possession of marijuana and allows for the expungement of conviction records for previous cultivation and possession offenses. 

The bill would also levy an excise tax of 10 percent on a marijuana retailer's or microbusiness's gross receipts from the sale of marijuana. Excise tax revenue would be distributed in part to primary and secondary (K-12) education, for the repair and maintenance of roads and bridges, and up to $20 million annually for two years would be used for clinical trials researching the efficacy of marijuana in treating the medical conditions of veterans and preventing veteran suicide.

The bill now awaits a bill number and committee assignment.