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High hopes that marijuana will hit Ohio store shelves sooner this summer • Ohio Capital Journal

Ohio pot enthusiasts, contrary to stereotype, have moved faster than expected to get recreational marijuana on the shelves.

According to policymakers, the Cannabis Control Department and dispensary owners, sales could start as early as mid-June. We had the exclusive on this story back in April, but it finally came to fruition on Monday.

The passage of Issue 2 allowed adults 21 and older to smoke, vape and ingest marijuana. Individual Ohio residents can grow up to six plants, with a maximum of twelve per household. Click here for more information about what the law entails.

According to Issue 2, the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) would not begin processing applications from retailers until June. The governor and lawmakers initially predicted that marijuana wouldn’t be legal to purchase until late summer or fall.

But because the DCC works quickly, the drug can be available in as little as a month.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to serve adult-use consumers here in Ohio,” said Tom Haren, spokesperson for the Ohio Cannabis Coalition.

Haren is pleased that the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) has approved the Division of Cannabis Control’s regulations, meaning medical dispensaries can begin applying for a recreational use license in the coming weeks.

This is great news for Phoebe DePree of Goddess Growers, who sells edibles. She said this opens her products up to a whole new market.

“It’s exciting for us because it adds an element of convenience to the consumer,” DePree said. “It’s a real opportunity for us.”

This was led by state Rep. Jamie Callender, R-Concord, who is also chairman of JCARR. He fought against the changes senators wanted to make to our current marijuana policy – ​​such as reducing home cultivation and limiting THC content.

This approval should ease the bickering among Republicans. There are two ways marijuana could be legally sold. Issue 2 stated that the administration would set the guidelines, but the quicker way would have been through legislative action.

The House of Representatives and Senate have both proposed ideas, and their leaders have debated whose policies are better for the state, which in turn has kept marijuana off the shelves despite legalizing it five months ago.

The Senate approved a proposal in December to immediately allow medical pharmacies to sell recreationally. However, it would restrict home cultivation, lower THC levels and ban the vast majority of vapes — among dozens of other restrictions and changes to what voters chose. Gov. Mike DeWine has pushed for House approval.

The House has refused to do anything about it, saying the other chamber is going against the “will of the people,” with Callender being the leading voice of that sentiment.

“We’ve overcome a lot of the fears that a lot of the senators and the governor’s office had initially — and are at the point where they’re saying, ‘Oh yeah, this is going to work,’” Callender said.

Timeline

The DCC must submit the rule in final form to JCARR, the Legislative Service Commission and the Secretary of State’s office by May 22.

From there, applications will be available before June 7. These will be available to medical dispensaries that want to expand to everyone, a so-called dual license, and to groups that only want to sell recreationally.

The application process could easily become a duplicate facility, as medical dispensaries already have a strenuous licensing process, Callender told us. According to him, the applications can be approved within a week.

He expected the twin stores to start selling in mid-June. The DCC echoed these sentiments after the hearing.

But policymaking does not stop there; more rules are still needed.

“Packaging, child safety – some of those things I think still need to be addressed,” the lawmaker said.

Ahead of these guidelines, Haren said many of his pharmacies will be ready by mid-June.

“They have been working on setting up processes and making necessary changes,” Haren said.

Callender plans to celebrate its first legal sale by purchasing the drug in Northeast Ohio, he said. When asked whether he would buy edibles or plants, the lawmaker jokingly attempted to pretend he didn’t know which species he liked.

“Well, I wouldn’t know because it hasn’t been legal for recreational use lately,” he said. “So when we were in college, all we had was what they now call flour.”

This is the best outcome of the marijuana debate, the lawmaker said, because Ohioans get to keep Issue 2 the way they voted.

“In these politically contentious times, it’s quite nice to see that the system is actually working for the people – the way people wanted,” he said with a smile. “I’m quite proud to have played a role in ensuring that the will of the voters becomes reality and happens quickly.”

To follow WEWS statehouse reporter Morgan Trau X And Facebook.

This article was originally published on News5Cleveland.com and is published in the Ohio Capital Journal under a content sharing agreement. Unlike other OCJ articles, it is not available for free republication by other news outlets as it is owned by WEWS in Cleveland.

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