Ohio Votes to Legalize Recreational Cannabis; What Does This Mean for Michigan?
First of all, as much as we like to give Ohio a hard time, it's only because of how much the people there remind us of "Florida Man" stories. Also... Ohio State... gross. But sometimes, good things can happen to Ohio, and as a direct result of their people.
During Tuesday Night's election, the state passed two major bills, to codify abortion access in the state's constitution, AND to legalize recreational Marijuana. These are two things that Michigan already has in abundance, but now that our southern neighbors have them too, what does that mean for us?
Ohio Votes to Legalize Marijuana
First thing's first, congratulations to Ohio for entering the 21st century. Across the country, states have individually passed laws to legalize cannabis in either medical, or recreational ways, and Ohio is now the 24th state to legalize it recreationally after Tuesday's vote.
Polls showed, with only about 53% of precincts reporting, Issue 2 was doing to pass with more than 55% voting for it.
There is still some leg work to be done. Lawmakers in the state's Republican-dominated General Assembly have vowed to make changes - and they have the authority now to alter or even repeal any voter-approved initiatives. But it's unlikely they'll make that decisions, since a solid majority voted for it.
Ohio joins Delaware and Minnesota in 2023 as new states to legalize recreational marijuana. Previously, Ohio was Medical only, as voted in 2016.
It's unclear as to when exactly Ohio will implement the recreational law, as there are still steps to take, but all indications point to some time in 2024.
Will This Affect Sales in Michigan?
Aside from the in-state money made from cannabis sales for Michigan, we do attract a lot of out-of-state clientele. Prices are excessively high in Illinois, and until this law take effect, Ohioans still need their medical card to get it.
BUT, overall, Michigan might see a slight dip in sales in the southeast part of the state, but it won't be massive. In fact, Ohio already borders three other states - Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky - who also have medicinal, as does Ohio. So it's not like Michigan is the ONLY option for Ohioans to buy marijuana.
But now, Ohio might see an increase from their four other surrounding states with recreational sales. In fact, a study done with the OHio State University Drug Enforcement and Policy Center estimates Ohio could see an annual tax revenue from sales of between $276 million, to $403 million by the fifth year of an operational cannabis market.
Tom Haren is a legal professional, and ran for Republican office in Ohio. He believes it's the right move for the state.
"This is money that we're taking out of the illicit market, that we're taking back from the state of Michigan, and we're going to invest it right back into Ohio Communities."
Now, he didn't have to take a stab at Michigan, but he is right, in that now, Michigan's lower peninsula will now only border one state with no legal marijuana - Indiana.
Now, the good thing is, Michigan still has the Upper Peninsula, which borders ONLY Wisconsin, and marijuana is still fully illegal there. So, at least Michigan still has Indiana and Wisconsin in that regard.
Celebrities with Cannabis Lines in Michigan
Gallery Credit: Getty Images