Adults Can Now Legally Possess And Grow Marijuana In Ohio — But There’s Nowhere To Buy It

DeWine predicted that black market sales would flourish in the state

Ohioans woke up Thursday in a land of recreational marijuana limbo, in which adults can legally grow and possess cannabis at home, but cannot legally buy it.

That combination of factors related to a citizen-initiated statue voters approved in November “is a recipe for disaster,” Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday night. He urged passage of a compromise bill setting parameters for carrying out Issue 2. The 11th-hour deal managed to make it through the Ohio Senate on the eve of the new law’s effective date, but not through the Ohio House, which — insistent there’s no rush— opted to adjourn.

DeWine predicted that black market sales would flourish in the state, making fentanyl- or pesticide-laced marijuana products more accessible and endangering Ohioans, including children who could be subjected to second-hand pot smoke at this holiday season’s festivities.

One regulator quipped that growing marijuana without being able to legally buy it must require “immaculate conception.”

Republican state Rep. Jamie Callender, sponsor of separate House implementation bill, told the House Finance Committee on Wednesday that DeWine and GOP Senate President Matt Huffman were wrong and that “there is no drop-dead date” for putting Ohio’s legal sales scheme in place. He said home grow and possession could still proceed without incident.

Callender said he wants “to make sure we’re thoughtful, that we’ve had adequate time to look at it and deal with the things that don’t go into effect immediately that we can work on,” and that voters’ wishes are respected.

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