Ohio Cities Are Already Moving To Block Medical Cannabis Businesses
Ohio legalized medical cannabis this year via legislative action. There was a campaign underway to legalize medical cannabis in Ohio via citizen initiative, but the campaign was suspended once Ohio's Legislature passed a medical cannabis bill.
Ohio has had a bumpy ride lately when it comes to cannabis reform. Voters soundly rejected a 2015 proposal which would have legalized recreational cannabis.
This campaign was heavily criticized as being 'too profiteer' driven. The initiative was funded by only a handful of backers, and would have granted licenses to those same backers.
Bans are already being pursued in Ohio
Medical cannabis licenses will not be issued in Ohio for quite awhile, but that hasn't stopped some cities in Ohio from pushing for bans on cannabis businesses.
As Cleveland.com reported this week, Lakewood and other cities in Ohio have put in place moratoriums on any medical cannabis businesses for at least 6 months.
I saw similar bans pop up across Oregon when Oregon legalized recreational cannabis. Colorado and Washington have also seen bans on cannabis businesses.
Why all of the fuss?
I have seen two reasons offered up in support of moratoriums and outright bans on cannabis businesses over the years.
The first is that local municipalities 'need more time' to come up with regulations, as if the reform came out of no where with no warning (sarcasm is implied here!), and now officials have to scramble to catch up.
The second reason is that cities plan on banning all cannabis businesses forever, and putting a temporary ban in place is just a bridge to a permanent ban. I'd imagine putting in a temporary ban prior to a full ban reduces some of the public outcry.
What can you do to help?
Local elected officials in Ohio need to be held accountable if they are pushing for bans and moratoriums. That's not to say that people need to let passion get the best of them, but a concerted, on point public challenge can be very effective.
I would suggest first contacting elected officials, especially if they are pushing for bans, and try to persuade them with facts and logic. If that doesn't work, then it's time to hold them accountable.
If you have contacted them first, and tried to reason with them, there will be a record of it this which can be shared publicly. You can be firm and respectful at the same time.
This is a very important thing, as patients in all parts of Ohio deserve to have safe access to medicine!
Should cannabis industry bans, even temporary ones, be permitted in Ohio?