Yo, what’s good, fam? Just got some dope news for all my Ohio homies. We officially legalizing recreational cannabis up in here, thanks to Issue 2. The ballot initiative passed last night, November 7. It’s about damn time, if you ask me.
But hold up, this ain’t the first time we tried to make this happen. Back in 2015, we failed to pass a separate legalization initiative. We didn’t have the numbers back then, but now it’s a whole new game.
Let me break it down for y’all. First off, Ohio lawmakers already legalized medical marijuana back in 2016. So we been making some progress, ya feel me? And not only that, but 38 cities in Ohio already decriminalized possession of up to 7 ounces of that good stuff. So we been chillin’ for a minute.
Now let’s talk about what this legalization means for us. When will it be legal to possess weed in Ohio? The law says it’ll “become effective” 30 days after passage. That means possession gonna be legit real soon. But hold up, the law doesn’t say when we can start buying that fire at the stores.
Speaking of possession, how much can we have on us? Well, Issue 2 says adults 21 and older can possess up to 2.5 ounces of that sticky icky and 15 grams of concentrate. That’s enough to keep us lit for a minute.
But don’t think you can be puffin’ on that joint all up in public, fam. Nah, that’s a no-go. Gotta keep it low-key and enjoy your smoke sesh in private.
Now here’s some good news for all the green thumbs out there. You can grow your own stash at home! You can have up to six plants per person and a max of twelve plants per household. So get your grow lights and hydroponic systems ready, ’cause we ’bout to have those homegrown strains on lock.
But who gonna regulate all these legal growers and sellers? The state gonna create a new Division of Cannabis Control within the Ohio Department of Commerce. They gonna keep an eye on the industry and make sure everything is legit.
Now let’s talk about the stores, fam. The 130 or so medical marijuana dispensaries we already got in Ohio? They gonna be able to sell to recreational customers too. That’s what’s up. And on top of that, the state gonna license 40 new growers and 50 new retailers. They tryna make sure everyone can get their hands on that good stuff. And if they feel like we need more stores, they can issue more licenses two years down the line.
But what about equity and small-business licenses? Well, according to the ballot measure, the state gonna give preference to applications from those participating in the cannabis social equity and jobs program. That’s a good look for our community, but they don’t say how many licenses they gonna give out.
Okay, here’s some important info for y’all. Local towns and counties can ban new stores from popping up, but they can’t stop the existing medical dispensaries from selling to us recreational users. And they can’t hit us with extra local taxes either. That’s a win for us, my friends.
Hold up, you know they gonna tax that weed, right? Ohio gonna add a 10% excise tax on cannabis sales. Plus, they gonna slap on the state’s 5.75% sales tax and any local taxes up to 2.25%. But here’s the kicker: 36% of that sweet tax revenue gonna go towards a marijuana social equity and jobs fund. So at least some of that money gonna benefit our community.
Now, one last thing y’all might wanna know. The measure doesn’t specifically talk about automatic expungement, but it does say the state gonna use some of that tax revenue to fund expungement efforts. So there’s hope for those who got caught up in the past.
That’s a wrap, my Ohio peeps. We just took a big step forward with this legalization. But keep in mind, the state’s legislature got the power to change things up, so stay tuned for any updates. For now, let’s celebrate and enjoy this victory. It’s time to light up and spread some good vibes. Peace out!