We all know how things went down in 2015 for Ohio’s legalization efforts – the proposed initiative would have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana all in one. That in itself was a long shot – but the thing that really killed the initiative was the fact that they had it set up to monopolize the market allowing only specific companies to cultivate and sell – the ones who were running the campaign.
The initiative did make it to ballots, but it lost with an overwhelming rejection by voters in the end. There were a lot of problems with ResponsibleOhio – but those problems were quickly seen by those who had more than dollar signs in mind with legalization.
Now, it seems that medical marijuana might have a chance in Ohio in the 2016 elections – though the initiative has not been worded and submitted yet, there is definitely one in the works. It will be based on laws that already exist in the 23 states and District of Columbia which have already legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.
The program, if passed, will have some very specific outlines – including which conditions will be considered “qualifying” as a part of the medical marijuana program. So far it is confirmed that chronic pain and PTSD will be among the listed conditions.
The initiative will also address issues such as taxes – normal sales tax will be imposed, but there will be no additional taxes. It will also cover things such as home-grown marijuana, which will be allowed though no specifics on the number of plants or size of gardens has been made available yet.
If passed, the measure would create six different types of business licenses for those dealing with different aspects of marijuana business from cultivation to dispensaries. There will be a limited number of large company cultivation licenses – once those seeds are planted they would then move on to licensing smaller businesses, which would not be limited.
The idea here would legalize medical marijuana for thousands of patients who are in need – but it would also allow the market to be open to investors of all stages in business unlike the previous initiative.
Signature gathering for this effort will start April 2nd and will run through July 6th. In that time period they will need to collect 305,591 valid signatures – so the group is aiming to collect a total of 600,000 signatures by their July 6th deadline. This amounts to needing around 2,000 signatures per day to meet this goal.
There is a lot going for Ohio with this initiative – if done right it could introduce Ohio to the marijuana market without overwhelming them with full-blown legalization and without creating a monopoly where certain companies will see all the financial gains.