Ohio Becomes 24th State to Legalize Recreational Cannabis For Adults
It’s official: voters in Ohio have approved the ballot measure for State Issue 2, making it the 24th state to legalize recreational cannabis for adult use. Here’s a quick breakdown of the new law for Cannabis Legalization in Ohio:
What is Ohio State Issue 2?
State Issue 2, legalizes recreational cannabis for adults aged 21 and older, allowing the possession, purchase, and consumption of cannabis within certain legal limits in addition to the existing medical program.
Who Will Be Able to Possess and Purchase Cannabis in Ohio?
Marijuana has been legal for medical purposes in Ohio since 2016 thanks to House Bill 523. Now that Issue 2 has passed all adults ages 21 and older can possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates.
Individuals could grow up to six plants for personal use, with a maximum 12 plants per household.
When Will the New Law Go Into Effect?
Now that the bill has been approved by voters, the new cannabis law in Ohio is expected to go into effect 30 days after the election, on Dec. 7.
Under the statute, existing medical marijuana facilities could obtain new adult-use cannabis licenses from the Division of Marijuana Control.
The division would have 40 new licenses to hand out for smaller cannabis cultivators and 50 licenses for new adult-use cannabis dispensaries. The processing of applications could take up to nine months after the law goes into effect, depending on licensing procedures.
How Much Will the Cannabis Tax Be in Ohio?
A 10 percent sales tax on cannabis sales would be implemented, with the generated revenue allocated as follows:
- 36 percent towards supporting social equity and jobs programs
- 36 percent for localities permitting adult-use marijuana businesses
- 25 percent dedicated to education and substance misuse programs,
- and the remaining three percent covering administrative costs associated with the system’s implementation.
Potential Market Impacts
Cannabis legalization in Ohio isn’t just about personal consumption. The impact on the economy could be HUGE, with estimates over $260M. The cannabis industry would generate numerous job opportunities in Ohio, including roles in cultivation, processing, retail, and distribution.
A study by Columbus-based Scioto Analysis predicted that “Ohio will add roughly 3,300 new jobs in the first year after legalization,” the report said. “Assuming these jobs are full time and pay matches the average wage across the state of Ohio, this will amount to about $190 million in wage benefits for workers across the state.”
Requirements to Work in Cannabis in Ohio
For those interested in working in the cannabis industry in Ohio, it’s important to understand that certain requirements will apply.
As of now, Ohio has three categories for dispensary workers:
- Associated Key Employee (AKE): an owner or prospective owner, officer or board member or prospective board member of the entity seeking a dispensary license.
- Key Employee (KE): an administrator or other person responsible for the daily operation of a licensed dispensary.
- Support Employee (SE): an employee who works within a dispensary but doesn’t have authority to make operational decisions.
For a Certificate of Operation (CoO) to be issued and to maintain ongoing compliance with the dispensary rules, all employees working in a dispensary need to be licensed (as an AKE, KE or SE) and display a board-issued ID when on licensed dispensary premises. Staff sufficient to operate in compliance with representations made in the dispensary application must be licensed as a condition precedent to receiving a CoO.
Employment requirements could also include:
- Being 21 years of age or older
- Submission of the dispensary license application
- A 2” x 2” head and shoulder photograph captured within the previous six months
- Name and license number of the dispensary employing the applicant
- Name, license number, and signature of the designated representative for the dispensary employing the applicant (only applicable for Support Employee license)
- Copy of government-issued ID
- Applicant’s full residential address
- A sworn, notarized statement that the applicant has not been convicted of a disqualifying offense in any jurisdiction
- Applicant’s social security number
- Fingerprint and background check
- Required fee of $100 for dispensary support employees, $250 for dispensary key employees, and $500 for dispensary-associated key employees
If you’re contemplating a career in the cannabis industry, you need to prepare yourself and acquire the necessary knowledge. Whether you aim to enter the industry or just want to stay well-informed, our Dispensary Agent Certification program can equip you with training and certification from industry experts in as little as 10 hours.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be part of this evolving industry!
For more resources on the cannabis regulations in Ohio visit the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.