Ohio Releases Proposed Grownup-Use Hashish Rules


Ohio hashish regulators final week launched a draft proposal of guidelines to control leisure marijuana manufacturing and gross sales. Voters legalized leisure marijuana in Ohio with the passage of Challenge 2 within the November 2023 off-year election, making the state the twenty fourth within the nation to largely finish the felony prohibition of hashish.

Challenge 2, which handed with 57% of the vote, legalized leisure marijuana in Ohio for adults 21 and older, who’re permitted to own as much as 2.5 ounces of marijuana and as much as 15 grams of hashish concentrates. The brand new regulation additionally legalizes marijuana cultivation for private use, permitting adults to develop as much as six hashish vegetation at residence. Households with multiple grownup are permitted to develop a complete of 12 vegetation.

The profitable poll measure additionally created a brand new state company dubbed the Division of Hashish Management (DCC), which may have the authority to “license, regulate, examine, and penalize grownup use hashish operators, grownup use testing laboratories, and people required to be licensed,” in response to the textual content of Challenge 2. 

Till final week, the DCC had not but launched any guidelines to control leisure marijuana manufacturing and gross sales in Ohio, the place medical marijuana was legalized by state lawmakers in 2016. With out rules, customers within the state had been left with out a authorized avenue to buy leisure weed, a scenario Governor Mike DeWine characterised as “goofy,” according to a report from on-line information supply Cleveland Scene.

The brand new proposed regulations set guidelines for 13 areas of leisure hashish manufacturing and gross sales, utilizing the rules from different states which have legalized marijuana as a information. Among the many new rules is a requirement that retail pot dispensaries be positioned no less than 500 ft away from faculties, parks, playgrounds, church buildings and libraries. 

Gross sales of leisure hashish are restricted to adults aged 21 and over, who’re required to point out identification. Clients of dispensaries are required to be “escorted and monitored by an assigned registered worker always.” Retail dispensaries are required to shut by 11 p.m.

Moreover, dispensaries should not permitted to decide on or change a enterprise title with out approval from the DCC. Earlier than starting operations, dispensaries are required to deposit $50,000 in an escrow account, whereas testing labs should deposit $7,500 and the most important weed cultivators are required to take care of an escrow account of $750,000.

The rules put limits on dispensary homeowners’ curiosity in different hashish companies, limiting them to at least one hashish cultivator, one hashish processor and eight retail dispensary places. The proposed guidelines additionally set safety necessities for hashish companies and mandate requirements for the correct disposal of hashish waste.

Retail Weed Gross sales May Start Inside Weeks

Beneath the brand new guidelines, current medical marijuana dispensaries could possibly be licensed to promote adult-use hashish as quickly as June 7. Leisure dispensary licenses shall be issued later, maybe as quickly as September 7.

Brian Vicente, founding associate of the hashish and psychedelics regulation agency Vicente LLP, characterised Ohio’s proposed adult-use hashish rules as “a smart start line for the Buckeye state.”  

“Not like latest legalization states like New York that opted to draft legalization rules from scratch, the Ohio guidelines clearly borrowed concepts from earlier states—leading to a refreshing degree of sophistication and understanding of the wants of each hashish customers and enterprise homeowners,” he wrote in an e-mail to Excessive Instances. “These rules embody commonsense ‘greatest practices’ for companies in vital areas like waste disposal and high quality assurance, which ought to result in a easy roll-out and ongoing operations. Customers will be capable to entry hashish from shops till 11 p.m. and thru drive-up home windows, which is able to foster widespread entry.”

The DCC is accepting public feedback on the proposed adult-use hashish rules by way of April 17. The company famous that the foundations haven’t but been finalized and are topic to vary by state lawmakers.

“The next data is predicated on the initiated statute poll measure authorised by voters. As a result of it’s an initiated statute, it could be amended by the state legislature,” the proposal reads. “Any amendments to the statute might impression the timeline for the rulemaking and licensing processes, and dispensary gross sales.”

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