Initiative Text

Be it Resolved by the People of the State of Ohio that Article XV of the Ohio Constitution is
hereby amended to add the following Section:


Section 12. Personal use and regulation of marijuana.


(A) Purpose and findings.


(1) In the interest of allowing for the efficient use of law enforcement resources; enhancing revenue
for public purposes; reducing marijuana arrests, which have had a racially disparate impact;
and protecting individual freedom, the people of the state of Ohio find and declare that the use
of marijuana should be legal for persons twenty-one years of age or older.


(2) In the interest of the health and public safety of our citizenry, the people of the state of Ohio
further find and declare that the production and sale of marijuana should be regulated so that:


(a) Individuals will have to show proof of age before purchasing marijuana;


(b) Selling, distributing, or transferring marijuana to minors and other individuals under
the age of twenty-one will remain illegal, unless authorized by the Ohio General
Assembly or the Department;


(c) Driving under the influence of marijuana will remain illegal;


(d) Legitimate, taxpaying businesspeople will conduct sales of marijuana, likely
generating thousands of new jobs in the state; and


(e) Marijuana sold in this state will be labeled and subject to additional regulations to
ensure that consumers are informed and protected.


(3) The people of the state of Ohio further find and declare that it is necessary to ensure
consistency and fairness in the application of this Section 12 throughout the state and that,
therefore, the matters addressed by this Section 12 are, except as specified herein, matters of
statewide concern.


(B) Definitions. As used in this Section 12, unless the context otherwise requires,


(1) “Consumer” means a person twenty-one years of age or older who purchases marijuana or
marijuana products for personal use by persons twenty-one years of age or older, but not for
resale to others.


(2) “Cultivation area” means the boundaries of the enclosed areas in which marijuana is cultivated
during the vegetative stage and flowering stage of the cultivation process. For purposes of
calculating the marijuana cultivation area square footage, enclosed areas used solely for the
storage and maintenance of mother plants, clones, or seedlings shall not be included.


(3) “Department” means the Ohio Department of Commerce or its successor agency.


(4) “Hemp” shall have the meaning provided in Chapter 928 of the Ohio Revised Code or any
successor provision.


(5) “Hemp product” shall have the meaning provided in Chapter 928 of the Ohio Revised Code or
any successor provision.


(6) “Locality” means a county, municipal corporation, or township.


(7) “Marijuana” or “marihuana” means all parts of the plant of the genus cannabis, whether
growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant, and every
compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or its
resin, including hashish or marihuana concentrate. “Marijuana” or “marihuana” does not
include hemp or hemp products, nor does it include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber
produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, sterilized seed of the
plant which is incapable of germination, or the weight of any other ingredient combined with
marijuana to prepare topical or oral administrations, food, drink, or other products.


(8) “Marijuana accessories” means any equipment, products, or materials of any kind which are
used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing,
harvesting, composting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing,
preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, vaporizing, or containing
marijuana, or for ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana into the human body.


(9) “Marijuana concentrate” means the resin extracted from any part of the plant of the genus
cannabis and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of that
resin but shall not include the weight of any other ingredient combined with marijuana
concentrate to prepare marijuana products.


(10) “Marijuana cultivation facility” means an entity licensed to cultivate, prepare, and package
marijuana and sell marijuana to retail marijuana stores, to marijuana processing facilities, and
to other marijuana cultivation facilities, but not to consumers.

(11) “Marijuana establishment” means a marijuana cultivation facility, a marijuana testing facility,
a marijuana processing facility, or a retail marijuana store.


(12) “Marijuana processing facility” means an entity licensed to purchase marijuana; manufacture,
prepare, and package marijuana products; and sell marijuana and marijuana products to other
marijuana product manufacturing facilities and to retail marijuana stores, but not to
consumers.


(13) “Marijuana products” means concentrated marijuana products and marijuana products that
are comprised of marijuana and other ingredients and are intended for use or consumption,
such as, but not limited to, edible products, ointments, and tinctures.


(14) “Marijuana testing facility” means an entity licensed to analyze and certify the safety and
potency of marijuana.


(15) “Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program” means the program established under Section
3796.02 of the Ohio Revised Code.


(16) “Openly and publicly” means the use of marijuana in a venue, area, or space that is open to
the public without restriction, including age restrictions.


(17) “Person” or “persons” means an individual, corporation, limited liability company, business
trust, estate, trust, partnership, or association.


(18) “Retail marijuana store” means an entity licensed to purchase marijuana from marijuana
cultivation facilities and marijuana and marijuana products from marijuana processing
facilities and to sell and deliver marijuana and marijuana products to consumers.


(19) “Unreasonably impracticable” means that the measures necessary to comply with the
regulations require such a high investment of risk, money, time, or any other resource or asset
that the operation of a marijuana establishment is not worthy of being carried out in practice
by a reasonably prudent businessperson.


(C) Personal use of marijuana. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the following acts
are not unlawful and shall not be an offense under Ohio law or the law of any locality within Ohio
or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under Ohio law for persons twenty-one years of age
or older:


(1) Possessing, using, displaying, purchasing, or transporting marijuana accessories or one ounce
or less of marijuana, with no more than eight grams of that one ounce being in the form of
marijuana concentrate.


(2) Possessing, growing, processing, or transporting no more than six marijuana plants per
household, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants, and possession of the marijuana
produced by the plants on the premises where the plants were grown, provided that the growing
takes place in an enclosed, locked space, is not conducted openly or publicly, and is not made
available for sale.


(3) Transfer of one ounce or less of marijuana without remuneration to a person who is twentyone years of age or older.


(4) Consumption of marijuana, including without limitation by combustion or smoking, provided
that nothing in this Section 12 shall permit consumption that is conducted openly and publicly
or in a manner that endangers others.


(5) Assisting another person who is twenty-one years of age or older in any of the acts described
in paragraphs (1) through (4) of this subsection (C).


(D) Lawful operation of marijuana-related facilities. Notwithstanding any conflicting provision
of the Ohio Revised Code, or the law of any locality:


(1) Any person twenty-one years of age or older may manufacture, purchase, store, and
transport marijuana accessories and sell marijuana accessories to a person who is twentyone years of age or older, provided that a person eighteen years of age or older may be
employed by a business engaged in the manufacture or sale of marijuana accessories.


(2) The holder of a current, valid license to operate a retail marijuana store license may:


(a) Possess, display, or transport marijuana or marijuana products;


(b) Purchase marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility;


(c) Purchase marijuana or marijuana products from a marijuana processing facility;


(d) Sell marijuana or marijuana products to consumers;


(e) Transfer inventory between retail marijuana stores with identical ownership; and


(f) Deliver marijuana, marijuana products, or marijuana accessories to a consumer’s
residence.


(3) The holder of a current, valid license to operate a marijuana cultivation facility may:


(a) Cultivate, harvest, process, package, transport, display, and possess marijuana;


(b) Deliver or transfer marijuana to a marijuana testing facility;


(c) Sell marijuana to another marijuana cultivation facility;


(d) Sell marijuana to a marijuana processing facility;


(e) Sell marijuana to a retail marijuana store; and


(f) Purchase marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility.


(4) The holder of a current, valid license to operate a marijuana processing facility may:


(a) Package, process, transport, manufacture, display, and possess marijuana or marijuana
products;


(b) Deliver or transfer marijuana or marijuana products to a marijuana testing facility;


(c) Sell marijuana or marijuana products to a retail marijuana store;


(d) Sell marijuana or marijuana products to a marijuana processing facility;


(e) Purchase marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility; and


(f) Purchase marijuana or marijuana products from a marijuana processing facility.


(5) The holder of a current, valid license to operate a marijuana testing facility may possess,
cultivate, process, repackage, store, transport, display, and transfer marijuana or marijuana
products.


(6) Where the “holder of a current, valid license” is used in this subsection (D), that phrase
includes those persons acting in their capacity as an owner, employee, or agent of the
respective licensed marijuana cultivation facility, retail marijuana store, marijuana
processing facility, or marijuana testing facility.


(7) Any person may lease or allow the use of property owned, occupied, or controlled by any
person, corporation, or other entity for any of the activities conducted lawfully in
accordance with paragraphs (1) through (5) of this subsection (D).


(8) The activities described in paragraphs (1) through (5) of this subsection (D) shall not be
unlawful and are not an offense under Ohio law, and shall not be a basis for seizure or
forfeiture of assets under Ohio law for persons twenty-one years of age or older.


(E) Regulation of marijuana.


(1) The Department shall adopt regulations necessary for implementation of this Section 12. Such
regulations shall not prohibit the operation of marijuana establishments, either expressly or
through regulations that make their operation unreasonably impracticable. Such regulations
shall include:


(a) Procedures for the issuance, renewal, suspension, and revocation of a license to operate
a marijuana establishment, which may include limitations on the total number of
licenses issued, with such procedures subject to all requirements of Chapter 119 of the
Ohio Revised Code or any successor provision;


(b) A schedule of application, licensing, and renewal fees, provided, application fees shall
not exceed five thousand dollars, with this upper limit adjusted annually for inflation,
unless the Department determines and demonstrates that a greater fee is necessary to
carry out its responsibilities under this Section 12;


(c) Qualifications for licensure that are directly and demonstrably related to the operation
of a marijuana establishment;


(d) Security requirements for marijuana establishments;


(e) Requirements to prevent the sale or diversion of marijuana and marijuana products to
persons under the legal age of use;


(f) Packaging and labeling requirements for marijuana and marijuana products sold or
distributed by a marijuana establishment;


(g) Health and safety regulations and standards for the manufacture of marijuana products
and the cultivation of marijuana;


(h) Equivalency standards between marijuana and marijuana products, based on delta-9
tetrahydrocannabinol content, for the purpose of ensuring that sales do not exceed
marijuana possession limits;


(i) Testing standards for marijuana and marijuana products;


(j) Restrictions on the advertising and display of marijuana and marijuana products,
including regulations to ensure that advertising and marketing is not targeted to minors;
and


(k) Civil penalties for the failure to comply with regulations made pursuant to this Section
12.


(2) When issuing licenses in accordance with paragraph (1)(a) of this subsection (E), the
Department shall, in the interest of preventing an excess supply of marijuana:


(a) Prior to January 1, 2026, not issue more than one retail marijuana store license for every
sixty thousand residents in the state; and


(b) Limit the total cultivation area collectively among marijuana cultivation facilities that
were not granted the ability to cultivate marijuana in accordance with paragraph (3)(a)
of this subsection (E) to one million five hundred thousand square feet of cultivation
area.


(3) In order to most efficiently and effectively initiate the process of eliminating the illicit market
for marijuana and marijuana products in Ohio, while protecting the rights of medical marijuana
patients under Ohio law:


(a) Beginning on July 1, 2021, all entities that have received a license to cultivate, process,
dispense, or test medical marijuana under Chapter 3796 of the Ohio Revised Code and
are operating under those licenses as of July 1, 2021, being similarly situated and
having been previously vetted and approved to operate by the state, may conduct those
activities for the benefit of all individuals twenty-one years of age or older, subject to
the regulations issued pursuant to paragraph (3)(b)(i) of this subsection (E), and shall
be treated as if issued a license under regulations promulgated pursuant to paragraph
(1)(a) of this subsection (E), provided that a locality may prohibit a retail dispensary
from selling marijuana and marijuana products to individuals who are not registered
patients or caregivers under the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program; and


(b) Prior to July 1, 2021, the Department shall:


(i) Issue regulations necessary for the implementation of paragraph (3)(a) of this
subsection (E), ensuring that the regulations do not prohibit the activities for the
benefit of all individuals twenty-one years of age or older, either expressly or
through regulations that make conducting the activities unreasonably
impracticable; and


(ii) Take steps to ensure that an adequate supply of medical marijuana and marijuana
can be produced to serve medical marijuana patients under the Ohio Medical
Marijuana Control Program and individuals twenty-one years of age or older
subsequent to July 1, 2021.


(4) In order to ensure that individual privacy is protected, notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this
subsection (E), the Department shall not require a consumer to provide a retail marijuana store
with personal information other than government-issued identification to determine the
consumer’s age, and a retail marijuana store shall not be required to acquire and record personal
information about consumers other than information typically required in a financial
transaction conducted at a retail liquor store.


(5) The General Assembly may enact a special sales tax to be levied upon marijuana and marijuana
products sold at retail marijuana stores or other entities that may be authorized to sell marijuana
or marijuana products to consumers and, if such a sales tax is enacted, shall direct the
Department to establish procedures for the collection of all taxes levied. Provided, at least onequarter of the revenue raised from any such sales tax shall be placed in a special fund and used
to establish a Commission on Expungement, Criminal Justice, Community Investment, and
Cannabis Industry Equity and Diversity, which shall provide recommendations regarding the
allocation of the remaining revenue in the fund; at least one-half of the revenue raised from
any such sales tax shall be allocated to the State Local Government Fund or any successor fund
dedicated to a similar purpose; and at least one-tenth of the revenue raised from any such sales
tax shall be returned to the municipal corporations or townships in which the retail sales
occurred in proportional amounts based upon the sales taxes remitted.


(6) A locality may enact ordinances or regulations, not in conflict with this Section 12 or with
regulations or legislation enacted pursuant to this Section 12, governing the time, place,
manner, and number of marijuana establishment operations; establishing a schedule of annual
operating fees for marijuana establishments; and establishing civil penalties for violation of an
ordinance or regulation governing the time, place, and manner of a marijuana establishment
that may operate in such locality. A locality may prohibit the operation of marijuana cultivation
facilities, marijuana processing facilities, marijuana testing facilities, or retail marijuana stores
through the enactment of an ordinance or through an initiated or referred measure; provided,
any initiated or referred measure to prohibit the operation of marijuana cultivation facilities,
marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities, or retail marijuana
stores must appear on a general election ballot during an even numbered year.


(7) On matters related to zoning for marijuana establishments and the operation of marijuana
establishments as it specifically relates to zoning established by local ordinances, localities
shall have sole and exclusive authority.


(8) Prior to issuing marijuana establishment licenses under this Section 12, the Department shall:


(a) Conduct a study to determine whether there has been prior discrimination in the
issuance of marijuana-related licenses in Ohio, including whether the effects of
marijuana prohibition have contributed to a lack of participation by racial minorities in
Ohio’s medical marijuana industry; and


(b) Take necessary and appropriate steps to address any identified discrimination when
issuing marijuana establishment licenses.


(9) Each application for an annual license to operate a marijuana establishment shall be submitted
to the Department. The Department shall:


(a) Begin accepting and processing applications following the adoption of regulations
described in paragraph (1) of this subsection (E);


(b) Immediately forward a copy of each application to the locality in which the applicant
desires to operate the marijuana establishment;


(c) Issue an annual license to the applicant unless the Department finds the applicant is not
in compliance with regulations enacted pursuant to paragraph (1), the applicant has not
been selected to operate based on a selection process established in accordance with
paragraph (1) of this subsection (E), or the Department is notified by the relevant
locality that the applicant is not in compliance with ordinances and regulations made
pursuant to paragraph (6) of this subsection (E) and in effect at the time of application;
and


(d) Upon denial of an application, notify the applicant in writing of the specific reason for
its denial.


(10) The Department may issue retail marijuana store licenses in excess of the number permissible
under paragraph (2)(a) of this subsection (E) and may permit any marijuana cultivation facility
to add additional cultivation area notwithstanding paragraph (2)(b) of this subsection (E):


(a) If licensed marijuana establishments in Ohio are able to engage in interstate commerce;
or


(b) If the Department determines, based on articulable economic data and after considering
existing and anticipated future consumer demand, that increasing the limitations will
not result in a significant excess supply of marijuana in Ohio.


(F) Employers, driving, minors, and property rights.


(1) Nothing in this Section 12 is intended to require an employer to permit or accommodate the
use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing of marijuana
in the workplace or to affect the ability of employers to have policies restricting the use of
marijuana by employees.


(2) Nothing in this Section 12 is intended to allow driving under the influence of marijuana or
driving while impaired by marijuana or to supersede statutory laws related to driving under the
influence of marijuana or driving while impaired by marijuana, nor shall this Section 12
prevent the state from enacting and imposing penalties for driving under the influence of or
while impaired by marijuana.


(3) Nothing in this Section 12 is intended to permit the transfer of marijuana, with or without
remuneration, to a person under the age of twenty-one or to allow a person under the age of
twenty-one to purchase, possess, use, transport, grow, or consume marijuana.


(4) Nothing in this Section 12 shall prohibit a person, employer, school, hospital, detention facility,
corporation, or any other entity who occupies, owns, or controls a property from prohibiting
or otherwise regulating the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale,
transportation, or growing of marijuana on or in that property.


(5) Nothing in this Section 12 shall prevent a state or local administrative agency from regulating
or prohibiting the use or consumption of marijuana on a commercial property as a condition
for commercial licensure at that property.


(6) A person charged with the well-being of a minor shall not be denied custody, visitation, or any
other parental right or responsibility for conduct that is permitted by this Section 12, unless the
person’s behavior is such that it creates an unreasonable danger to the minor that can be clearly
articulated and substantiated.


(G) Medical marijuana provisions unaffected. Nothing in this Section 12 shall be construed to
limit any privilege or right of a medical marijuana patient or caregiver as provided under the Ohio
Medical Marijuana Control program.


(H) Self-executing, severability, conflicting provisions. All provisions of this Section 12 are
self-executing except as specified herein, are severable, and, except where otherwise indicated in
the text, shall supersede conflicting state statutory, local charter, ordinance, or resolution, and other
state and local provisions.