It's Medical Cannabis Awareness Week! If Ohio passes Issue 2's Marijuana Initiative on November 7th, it will become the 24th state in the United States to legalize recreational marijuana. As we look toward a new chapter, we reflect on the journey of medical cannabis in Ohio and how far we've come in the last decade.
- In 2015, Ohio voters rejected the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, with a little more than half voting “no”. This initiative was not popular among Ohio voters, and was highly criticized for attempting to create a monopoly on marijuana, and lacked backing from pro-legalization groups.
- In 2016, we saw the legalization of medical marijuana, when House Bill 523 was passed in the House of Representatives 71-25.
- In 2018, The Board of Pharmacy announced the activation of the Patient and Caregiver Registry
- In 2019, the first medical marijuana dispensary opened its doors
- In 2021, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) began its efforts to get the initiative on the ballot. The group spent four months gathering signatures to submit to the secretary of state.
- In 2022, several new states, like Maryland and Missouri, approved recreational marijuana through legislation like Issue 2.
- In 2023, The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol was given a 10-day cure period to get the 679 signatures they were short on. During this time, they received more than ten times that, raising the total of valid signatures to 127,772 and ensuring the initiative for the ballot.