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Recreational Marijuana Use Will Become Legal in Ohio on Thursday

Starting December 7th, adults aged 21 and older in Ohio can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and 15 grams of extracts. However, consuming adult cannabis in public spaces is considered a minor misdemeanor, according to the language in Issue 2.

While the law comes into effect on December 7th, the actual sale of marijuana won’t begin until later in 2024 due to the licensing process.

Purchasing Process

The establishment of the cannabis division is a crucial step before Ohioans can buy marijuana from licensed dispensaries. As authorized by Issue 2, this agency has nine months to develop rules for cultivation and dispensing. Therefore, purchasing for personal use is not on the immediate horizon.

Where You Can Smoke

According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, smoking marijuana will likely follow rules similar to cigarettes, meaning it’s prohibited in public indoor spaces. Governor Mike DeWine has sought further clarification on general use, indicating potential changes in legislation.

Restrictions on Recreational Marijuana Use

  1. Age Limitations: Individuals under the age of 21 are not permitted to possess or use marijuana legally. The legislation aligns with the approach taken for alcohol, restricting access to adults.
  2. Renters’ Restrictions: Landlords are granted the authority to incorporate clauses in lease agreements prohibiting the use of cannabis on their properties. Renters need to be aware of and adhere to these stipulations.
  3. Employee Policies: Employers have the discretion to establish and enforce drug-free workplaces. This includes prohibiting employees from using marijuana and implementing disciplinary measures for violations.

Implications on Gun Purchases

Additionally, the legalization of recreational marijuana has implications on firearm purchases:

  • Background Checks: Every purchase from a licensed gun dealer involves a background check. This check includes a question about whether the buyer is an “unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substances.”
  • Federal Law Considerations: The background check form explicitly states that the use or possession of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, even if it’s legalized at the state level. It emphasizes that providing false information on the form constitutes a felony under federal law.

It’s important for individuals to be aware of these restrictions and the broader legal landscape surrounding the intersection of marijuana use and various aspects of life, including housing agreements and firearm purchases. Compliance with both state and federal regulations is crucial to avoid legal consequences.

Potential Changes and Adjustments

While the law is set to take effect on December 7th, some changes may occur in the future. Governor DeWine has outlined three priorities: safeguarding children, establishing tax policies, and ensuring road safety. Adjustments may include restrictions on where people can smoke, limiting access to specific products, and regulating advertising. Lawmakers are also considering THC level restrictions.

Issue 2 is an initiated statute, making it part of the Ohio Revised Code rather than a constitutional amendment. This gives lawmakers the flexibility to make changes, a process that is more straightforward compared to constitutional amendments.

Bill Allowing Immediate Marijuana Sales From Dispensaries, Retaining Home Cultivation Rights, and Enabling Record Expungement Has Been Approved by the Ohio Senate Committee

Ohio’s GOP-controlled Senate recently passed a revised bill, enhancing the voter-approved marijuana legalization law effective today. This update enables adults to purchase cannabis from existing medical dispensaries within 90 days, preserving home cultivation rights and facilitating automatic expungements for past convictions. The approved legislation ensures adults can cultivate up to six plants per person. However, the household limit is capped at six plants instead of the initially proposed 12, as the initiated statute outlines. The full Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure with a vote of 28-2.

The Ohio Senate passed a bill on Wednesday night that would expunge convictions for possessing 2.5 ounces of marijuana or less. Individuals would be required to submit an application to the court.

Disclaimer: This is not binding legal advice as this topic is still evolving, and every situation is unique. We will continue to keep you updated as changes come in.