Issue 2: How it would impact the Ohio’s existing medical marijuana industry if passed

Voters will soon decide whether Ohio should become the 24th state to legalize recreational marijuana for those 21 years old or older.

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News Center 7′s John Bedell got an inside look at a marijuana facility in Greene County and how passage would impact the state’s existing medical pot industry.

Cresco Labs has been in the medical marijuana business in Ohio since 2018.

The company has a manufacturing facility in Greene County and five dispensaries across the state.

In Yellow Springs, most of what they produce is marijuana buds and edibles.

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They support Issue 2 and said they’d expand into the state’s recreational market if it passes.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity to provide that to a greater market,” said Joe Chek, Cresco Labs Facility Director.

Chek told News Center 7 how he thinks a potentially legal recreational marijuana market would impact Ohio’s existing medical marijuana industry.

“We know that the market is going to grow by, you know, sheer number of people that can legally purchase and consume cannabis. Right now, there’s a relatively limited number of medical patients in the state,” Chek said.

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In previous reports, News Center 7 talked to the group leading the organized support for Issue 2.

“It is still far too easy for somebody to have their life totally upended by even a small, minor interaction with the criminal justice system as a result of one marijuana citation, arrest or conviction,” said Tom Haren, spokesperson for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA).

News Center 7 has also talked to groups pushing for a “no” vote on Issue 2, like Greene County Sheriff Scott Anger with the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association.

“We’re going to have a myriad of workplace issues with hiring people, drug testing, and fitness for duty at work,” Anger said.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine voted “no” on Issue 2.

“It’s just not worth the little money that we’re going to get back in taxes to have these social problems exacerbated and increased,” DeWine said.

If Issue 2 passes, recreational sales won’t happen right away. It wouldn’t be until about fall of next year.

Right now, the Ohio Department of Commerce regulates Ohio’s medical marijuana program.

If issue 2 passes, ODC would add the recreational market to its regulatory work. That expansion would take several months for the state to get in place to get the new market off the ground.

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