Cannabis reform activists in the state of Ohio are hoping to get a recreational cannabis legalization bill on the November 2023 ballot. Earlier this year, the campaign behind a legalization measure announced that the bill would not be on the 2022 ballot but that there was a chance of getting the measure on the subsequent year’s ballot.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol had filed a complaint for declaratory judgment in April to ensure that the measure made it onto last month’s ballot. The suit was unsuccessful, however, and the coalition reached an agreement with legislative leaders and the secretary of state which put their legislation on track to appear on next year’s ballot.
Tom Haren from the coalition said at the time that the most important thing was that Ohio voters would still have the chance to decide on recreational cannabis legalization even if it wasn’t during the November 2022 ballot. He added that the campaign “wasn’t going anywhere” and that supporters were resolute in their goal to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is comprised of cannabis business owners; the group managed to raise more THAN $1 million last year in its efforts to legalize recreational cannabis. In fact, the group collected a total of $212,500 in the first half of 2021, with $150,000 coming from procannabis legalization organization the Marijuana Policy Project, $50,000 was donated by the owner of Ohio-based medical cannabis cultivator and processor Klutch Cannabis while $12,500 came from Riviera Creek, a cultivator and processor in Youngstown.
The campaign’s lawsuit was concerned with the complex timing and deadline involved in the multistep process of getting an initiative on the ballot. Lawmakers, the campaign, and the court settled out of court, agreeing that the campaign has until early January to present a recreational cannabis proposal to the Ohio General Assembly.
Haren, the lawyer working on the adult-use cannabis campaign, said that the legislature has only four months to craft and pass a similar recreational cannabis bill. Since it is likely that the legislature will not pass adult-use legislation, the campaign will have to collect around 130,000 signatures in around eight weeks to qualify for the November ballot once it receives the proposal from the Ohio General Assembly. Haren is optimistic about the campaign’s chances of success, stating that advocates will prepare staff to collect signatures and expect to have enough before the deadline elapses.
The onward march of cannabis legalization brings opportunities not only for companies that will directly deal with plant-touching products but also for others such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) that are tangentially linked to the industry.
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