First proposal made for Ohio marijuana tax revenue

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(The Center Square) – An Ohio lawmaker already has plans for an expected boost to state revenues following voter approval of recreational marijuana.

State Rep. Cindy Abrams, R-Harrison, plans a Tuesday news conference to outline her proposed legislation that would use $80 million of marijuana tax money over the next two years as a permanent funding source for training the state’s law enforcement officers.

“Training saves lives,” Abrams said. “Every one of our law enforcement officers should have access to quality training, and this bill will ensure this is Ohio’s reality with sustainable funding. Training sets law enforcement up for success, increases public safety, and strengthens community relations.”

Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved adult-use recreational marijuana last week with a 10% additional state tax on sales. Based on the statute, the anticipated additional $200 million in revenue would be used for administrative costs, addiction treatment and municipalities with dispensaries.

Lawmakers have 30 days to make amendments to the law. Ohioans can begin to possess and consume marijuana Dec. 7.

Sales will likely come toward the end of 2024.

The Division of Cannabis Control must be established to set rules for getting a license and product standards, among other things. The state faces a nine-month deadline to issue the first licenses to growers and dispensaries, which will go to existing businesses with medical marijuana licenses and other operators under the equity program.

Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, said lawmakers could adjust tax rates, THC limits – tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the primary intoxicant in cannabis products – and earmarks.

House Speaker Jason Stephens, R-Kitts Hill, wants the Legislature to focus on law enforcement.

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