Watch a previous NBC4 report on Ohio’s legalization of cannabis in the video player above.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — While Ohio’s voter-approved initiative legalizing cannabis is now in effect, the state’s medical dispensaries remain operational and could begin selling recreational marijuana.
Issue 2, which voters passed Nov. 7 with 57% support, legalizes the sale, purchase and possession of cannabis for Ohioans who are 21 and older. However, unlike the abortion rights constitutional amendment that also passed, Issue 2 appeared on the ballot as an initiated statute — giving state lawmakers the final word.
Now, legislators at the Statehouse are negotiating how to alter the enactment of Issue 2 through two competing bills — House Bill 86, approved 28-2 in the Senate on Dec. 6, and House Bill 354, awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives.
Endorsed by Gov. Mike DeWine, H.B. 86 would allow for recreational sales at the state’s 114 medical dispensaries. Once passed by the House and signed into law, dispensaries would have to wait 90 days for the legislation to go into effect before selling could begin.
Still, H.B. 68 would permit the buying and selling much sooner than the process outlined in Issue 2. Under the initiated statute, the first sales cannot occur until the newly established Division of Cannabis Control completes the rulemaking and licensing processes….