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Ohio has fewer marijuana industry bans than Michigan, New York


At least 47 Ohio communities have already opted out of adult-use marijuana ahead of the market’s promised early opening next month, according to an analysis by Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law.

That’s significantly fewer local bans than in Michigan and New York.

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Ohio voters legalized adult use last fall.

But since then, the state’s lawmakers and regulators have been wrestling with how to launch retail sales, though a recent agreement could lead to sales beginning in June.

Like most other state marijuana legalization laws, Ohio’s Issue 2 allows local governments to pass laws banning or restricting adult-use businesses.

Ohio better off than Michigan, New York

As of the end of March, 47 of the 2,200-plus incorporated municipalities or townships in Ohio passed bans, according to the Ohio State analysis published this week.

That means only about 2% of Ohio communities have opted not to allow recreational cannabis sales.

That’s in stark contrast to:

  • Michigan, where 1,300 of 1,773 municipalities (73%) have opted out.
  • New York, where 753 of 1,520 (about 50%) have opted out.

The 47 local bans in Ohio cover communities with only about 9% of the state’s population, the analysis shows.

Some bans temporary

And some of the Ohio bans are only temporary moratoriums, with nine set to last “six months or shorter,” according to the analysis.

Ohio communities are permitted to ban adult-use businesses, but they cannot outlaw existing medical cannabis companies already in operation.

The first recreational sales will likely happen at existing MMJ dispensaries that are granted dual licenses to also sell adult-use products.

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