The Ohio Senate has voted to approve changes to marijuana law. DeWine urges passage of the bill

The Ohio Senate has voted to approve changes to marijuana law.  DeWine urges passage of the bill

Ohio’s marijuana law goes into effect Thursday under Issue 2 — which Ohioans passed with 57% of the vote.

but A bipartisan majority in the Ohio Senate passed the bill Wednesday with various amendments. The bill now heads to Ohio House bill next week, where it will require passage before it goes to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk for his signature.

Sen. Rob McCauley, R-Napoleon, has introduced proposed changes to the marijuana law House Bill 86 was released Monday. However, many of the changes introduced earlier this week were amended in a replacement bill approved by the Senate Government Oversight Committee on Wednesday afternoon.

HB 86 – Introduced earlier this year by a delegate. Jeff Leary, R-Violet Twp., would review the state’s liquor control laws and passed the Ohio House of Representatives in the summer with little opposition.

Two senators voted against SB 86 during Wednesday’s Senate session — Republican Sens. Neeraj Antani and Democratic Senator. Catherine Ingram.

What’s in HB 86?

Under number 2, People 21 and older can grow six plants per person, 12 plants per residence. But the bill limits it to six plants per household. Home growth was previously canceled earlier this week, but was brought back in the replacement bill.

“That’s a lot for individual use,” Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman told reporters. “For this particular case, we think it’s very reasonable.”

The language of number 2 contained 10% tax at the point of sale for each transaction. The bill would change the tax rate to 15% and eliminate the farmer tax that was proposed earlier this week. A higher tax rate means higher prices for consumers.

“We realize that the price of this product needs to be at least competitive with what might be found on the black market,” McCauley said.

The bill would also allow local governments and counties to impose an additional tax on top of the 3% marijuana tax.

There will also be automatic write-offs for those with possessions of 2.5 ounces or less.

“There have been a number of individuals who have been convicted of marijuana possession for what is now legal possession,” McCauley said.

Ohio residents may be able to purchase recreational use Marijuana sooner under this bill. Originally, the sales dispensary was intended for adult use Marijuana It was to take effect within nine months. But under the Senate bill, Ohioans 21 or older could go to a dispensary and purchase recreational products on the spot.

“We felt it was important to allow immediate use because that was a protection against the black market.” McCauley said. “It’s also frankly a way to help Ohioans who voted for this allow them safe and reliable access earlier rather than later.”

Possession limits will remain the same at 2.5 ounces and THC levels will remain the same at 35% for plant materials and reduced from 90% to 50% for extracts. The number of dispensaries allowed at one time will also remain at 350.

There is no emergency provision in the bill, meaning it would take effect 90 days after DeWine signs the bill into law.

Senate Minority Leader Nikki Antonio, D-Lakewood, praised the bill’s passage in a statement issued Wednesday evening.

“Ohioans have said loud and clear that they want marijuana that is legal, safe and accessible,” she said. “Our group has worked together to ensure the voice of the people is reflected in the changes made to the bill, including deletion, preserving home grow, funding for our communities and health,” she said. mentality.”

Issue 2 Establishes five funds in the state treasury: the Adult Use Tax Fund, the Cannabis Social Justice and Job Opportunity Fund, the Host Community Cannabis Fund, the Substance Abuse and Addiction Fund, and the Cannabis Control and Tax Commissioner Zoning Fund.

this is the way Revenue funds under SB 86 will be distributed:

  • 28% to the county jail construction fund.
  • 19% to the Department of Public Safety’s Law Enforcement Training Fund, or 16% if the Marijuana Expungement Fund no longer exists.
  • 14% to the Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Training Fund.
  • 11% to the Substance Abuse, Treatment and Prevention Fund, or 9% if the Marijuana Eradication Fund no longer exists.
  • 9% to the 988 Lifeline Suicide and Crisis Fund.
  • 5% to the Marijuana Receipts Enforcement Fund.
  • 5% to the Marijuana Expungement Fund.
  • 5% to the Safe Drivers Training Fund.
  • 4% to the Ohio Investigative Unit Operations Fund.
  • 3% to the Marijuana Control Operations Fund.
  • 2% to the Marijuana Poison Control Fund.

Governor DeWine urges passage of SB 86

DeWine called a news conference Wednesday evening, before the Senate resumed session, to urge passage of the bill as soon as possible so he could sign it into law.

“Without enactment of this bill, we would have the following situation: While it would be legal for Ohioans to possess marijuana, there would be no place for them to legally purchase it,” DeWine said. “This bill takes that issue and addresses it by accelerating the time that adults will be able to legally produce recreational marijuana, thereby reducing the opportunity for a black market.”

DeWine said he urges the House to pass the bill “immediately and send it to me for my signature.”

Follow OCJ Reporter Megan Henry on Twitter.

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