The future of marijuana legislation is uncertain as the Ohio House and Senate will not reconvene until 2024
The two chambers met on Wednesday, but no weed bills were introduced, raising the question: How close are the House and Senate to agreeing on marijuana legalization?
“It’s hard to say” Senate President Matt Hoffman told reporters last Wednesday. “The provisions we passed are things we worked on regarding the governor that we showed the House and we didn’t really get a lot of response.”
The Ohio Senate passed House Bill 86 on a bipartisan vote that would increase the marijuana tax rate to 15%, limit home growth to six plants per household, change how revenue is distributed, and add an automatic expungement.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine urged lawmakers to pass the bill so he could sign it into law, but the House did not have the same sense of urgency.
“I’m disappointed that the House left without dealing with this matter,” DeWine told reporters on Friday. “I’m not angry about that. “I’m just worried about the situation we have.”
Marijuana is legal in Ohio, but there is currently no legal place to purchase recreational weed.
Current law gives the Ohio Department of Commerce the authority to set regulations and issue licenses, but they cannot be issued until at least nine months after November 7 – which means…Marijuana likely won’t be sold legally in Ohio until well into next year“Dewayne said.
“I think there has to be a sense of urgency,” DeWine said.
HB 86 would speed up that timeline and Ohioans would be able to purchase entertainment Marijuana In the dispensary once the bill comes into effect.
“Safe, legal products should be available as soon as we can get them,” said Senate Minority Leader Nikki J. Antonio, D-Lakewood.
Huffman is concerned that marijuana legalization will continue to stall as the March 19 primary approaches.
“I fear it will continue into April and beyond,” Hoffman said. “There have to be some things in the bill that the House will approve.”
Antonio and Hoffman said they would like to see a debate between the House and Senate Talk through different parts of the legislation.
“I don’t know what the House wants, what they like, what they don’t like,” Huffman said.
In the House, Speaker Jason Stevens, R-Kitts Hill, said that talks on marijuana will continue and that the chamber has no problem reaching an agreement on marijuana.
“It’s important to do it right. … “It’s just a very complicated issue,” he told reporters.
The three big parts of the new marijuana law These are where people can use cannabis, who will have licenses, and how revenue will be used, he said.
“When you think about those three components, doing it quickly while also respecting the will of the voter, is not something that can be done very quickly in my opinion, but it has to be done right,” he said.
State Rep. Jimmy Callender, R-Concord, introduced House Bill 354 last week that clarified some of the language of the second version. Bill He would keep home grows the same as in Version 2 — six marijuana plants per person and 12 per household, and clarified that home grows must take place at a residential address.
Callender’s bill has had three hearings so far in the Ohio House Finance Committee.
The House of Representatives is scheduled to hold a session as needed on January 10 and an actual session on January 24. The Senate is also scheduled to meet on January 24.
Follow OCJ Reporter Megan Henry on Twitter.
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