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Governor Calls for Changes to Ohio’s New Cannabis Laws

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has called for changes to the newly approved adult use cannabis law in Ohio.

Voters approved the legalisation of adult use cannabis on 7 November with the law set to come into effect in early December.

Ohio’s Issue 2 Marijuana Legalisation Initiative will see adult use cannabis commercialised, regulated and taxed, allowing for adults aged 21 and over to be in possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and to cultivate up to six plants in their homes.

While the bill has been approved by citizens, lawmakers are still able to review or repeal the bill.

Governor Mike DeWine has called for amendments to the bill in order to improve safety for citizens and children, particularly in terms of public use, driving and advertising.

According to the Cincinnati, DeWine said in a public statement: “What the people have clearly told us is they want legal marijuana in Ohio. We are going to see that they have that, but we’ve also got to live up to our responsibility to all the people in the state of Ohio, whether they voted for it or voted against it … that we do this in a very responsible way, we do it in a respectful way.”

The publication reports that Governor DeWine called for the protection of children against cannabis advertising and edibles – products that can often be found in packaging designed to mimic children’s sweets – as well as ensuring the prevention of drug driving and to limit public use to prevent nuisance.

Senator Bill Demora has in response denounced the Republican leadership in the Senate for their “pledge to ignore the voters’ decision on Issue 1 [the Right to Make Reproductive Decisions Including Abortion Initiative] and 2”.

Demora stated: “The arrogance of the Republican leadership in the Ohio House and Senate is disgusting. Despite just having got their ass kicked for the second time in four months by a clear majority of Ohioans they think they can do anything they want – voters be damned.

“It is time for the Republican supermajority to reject extremist groups hell-bent on derailing our government with non-sensical culture war issues and get to work.”

Pat Darrow, President of the Ohio Conference of Teamsters Union, has suggested the passage of the bill will create sustainable, middle-class careers in the state.

“The passage of Issue 2 highlights the immense potential for career growth and economic empowerment within this burgeoning craft. The Teamsters are committed to ensuring that these workers have the rights and opportunities they deserve,” said Darrow.

“This means organising recreational dispensaries – like Strawberry Fields in Columbus – and securing collective bargaining agreements that provide workers with on-the-job protection, job security, paid time off, annual raises, and other benefits.

“We encourage public officials to shape a responsible and equitable regulatory framework that benefits cannabis workers and the communities they serve. This means doing things like listening to organised labour during the policy-making process, accounting for employers’ labour relations when awarding licenses and providing incentives for employers to maintain labor peace.

“This is a significant moment for Ohio, and we are excited about the positive changes it will bring for cannabis workers and their families.”

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