On November 7, 2023, a new chapter in Ohio’s cannabis policy began as voters across the state, approved Issue 2. This ballot measure essentially legalized the possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis for adults with the pull of a lever.
As Ohio aligns with the broader national trend toward cannabis reform, it’s essential to understand the nuances of legal cannabis in Ohio, particularly for those with current or past marijuana-related legal issues.
At Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, our experienced criminal defense lawyers are well-prepared to guide individuals through the complexities of Ohio’s newly amended marijuana laws and other drug-related charges.
Recreational Marijuana Ohio – The Key Points
The approval of Issue 2 ushers in significant changes in Ohio’s marijuana law:
- Adult Possession and Use: Adults 21 and older can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and 15 grams of cannabis concentrate.
- Home Cultivation: Individuals can grow up to 6 marijuana plants at home, with a household limit of 12 plants.
- Commercial Sales: The commercial sale of cannabis is now permitted, within a regulated system overseeing growers, processors, and dispensaries.
- Local Jurisdiction: Local areas have the power to regulate or ban cannabis businesses.
- Tax Revenue Use: Taxes from cannabis sales will fund administrative expenses, substance abuse initiatives, and community programs.
What are the Post-Legalization Considerations?
First off, it’s not in effect yet. The measure does not go into effect until 30 days after the election. Also, state legislators may revisit and modify the language of the law. But once it goes into effect, Issue 2 will officially legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio.
With its legalization, there are some things you may want to keep in mind:
- Previous Convictions: Past marijuana-related convictions won’t be automatically cleared.
- Driving Regulations: Driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal, and the standards for impairment are subject to legal scrutiny.
- Law Enforcement Powers: The impact of this law on police powers, including searches and seizures, is yet to be fully determined.
Employers May Have Their Own Marijuana Rules
While recreational use is legal, employers in Sandusky can maintain drug-free workplace policies. This is particularly pertinent as marijuana remains illegal under federal law, affecting federal employees and those under federal regulations.
Can You Expunge Old Marijuana Charges?
Issue 2 acknowledges the negative impact of previous marijuana laws and introduces measures for expungement of certain marijuana offenses. This complements Ohio’s recent law easing expungement processes for misdemeanors, including minor marijuana possession.
For those interested in expunging a prior marijuana offense, Aa application for expungement can be filed six months after final release for minor misdemeanors and one year after final release for other misdemeanors.
Ready to Enter the Cannabis Industry?
For those interested in Sandusky’s newly created recreational cannabis market, understanding the complex regulatory environment is crucial. You must navigate an intricate regulatory framework that has yet to be created, and you’ll likely be competing or need to integrate with the established medical dispensaries that have been operating in Ohio for years.
What’s the Effect on Pending Marijuana Charges?
Despite legalization, legal challenges and complexities remain, especially for ongoing cases in the Sandusky area. It’s vital to consult an experienced and local criminal defense attorney to understand how these changes might affect your specific situation. After all, the police and prosecutors might interpret the new law differently and the recent changes may not necessarily result in an immediate dismissal of a pending marijuana case.
Questions or Need Help? Call Our Sandusky Defense Lawyers
As Ohio embarks on this new era of regulated marijuana use, Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA stands ready to offer in-depth legal assistance. Whether it’s a new drug charge or expungement matter, our team is dedicated to achieving the best outcome for your case. Contact us at any time for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call (419) 625-7770