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Cities are considering cannabis regulations amid state confusion

April 26 – VAN WERT – The city of Van Wert is poised to ban the consumption of cannabis on city property next month.

Elida will soon prohibit the commercial sale and cultivation of cannabis, effectively banning dispensaries from operating within village boundaries.

A lack of clarity from state lawmakers about a voter-approved bill legalizing recreational marijuana isn’t stopping some local governments from adopting their own rules governing where they can smoke or buy THC-containing products.

The initiated bill took effect on December 7 after voters approved the issue by a 57% to 43% margin, legalizing recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older.

Dispensaries don’t sell THC-containing recreational products yet – the law requires retail sales to begin in September unless lawmakers change the rules sooner – but Ohioans can possess or grow marijuana in the meantime.

While lawmakers have introduced several bills to change the statute, they have not reached agreement on these proposals, which could change possession limits, tax rates, home cultivation rules and local authorities to regulate cannabis.

The statute as approved by voters already allows local governments to ban adult clinics, but existing medical clinics are exempt from these bans.

This means dispensaries in Wapakoneta, Lima and Delphos will be able to convert to dual-use dispensaries as early as September if the state Division of Cannabis Control approves it.

“It’s an evolving area of ​​law,” said Eric Pheneger, deputy city law director of the city of Lima, who advises Lima council on possible cannabis regulations.

When it comes to personal use, Lima prosecutor Rick Eddy said the easiest way to understand cannabis consumption restrictions is to look at alcohol restrictions and replace the word “alcohol” with “marijuana.”

“Just like I can’t drive down the street drinking beer,” Eddy said, “someone can’t drive down the street smoking weed. I cannot be intoxicated by marijuana or alcohol in public places if it is disruptive or a risk.”

The Elida village council is expected to ban the commercial sale, cultivation and processing of cannabis within the village boundaries.

The regulation, which was adopted on Monday in first reading, does not affect the cultivation of cannabis at home or the private use of cannabis.

The ban should go into effect by August if the council passes all three readings, which council members say will give them time to change the ordinance if lawmakers pass a bill that conflicts with the village’s new regulations.

The Van Wert City Council continues to advance an ordinance banning the use of cannabis on city-owned property, which passed its second reading Monday, but Mayor Kenneth Markward’s proposal to expand the city’s ban on medical marijuana dispensaries to include recreational dispensaries appears to be on the cards. suspended for now.

Councilwoman Judy Bowers said residents told her they preferred the dispensary so people wouldn’t buy marijuana on the black market.

Dispensary advocates mentioned traveling to Wapakoneta and Michigan to purchase marijuana for their health conditions, asking the council to reconsider the dispensary ban.

“We’re normal, just like everyone else,” said Mark Wilson, a cancer survivor who runs a vape shop in Van Wert. “We rely on it to get through the day.”

“We need something local for all the people here,” Wilson said. – There are more of us than you think.

Issue 2 Possession limits

Possession: 2.5 ounces in any form except extract, which is limited to 15 grams for adult use. Adults can also purchase 2.5 ounces daily from licensed dispensaries.

Growing at home: One person can grow six plants, although the law limits it to 12 plants per household.