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56 Ohio cities have opted not to sell cannabis for recreational purposes

56 Ohio cities have opted not to sell cannabis for recreational purposes

56 Ohio cities have opted not to sell cannabis for recreational purposes

COLUMBUS – Even as Ohioans voted to legalize recreational marijuana, dozens of municipalities across the state have passed bans of varying lengths on adult-use cannabis businesses.

In November, Ohio voters approved Proposition 2, which legalized recreational marijuana use for people 21 and older. Applications for medical dispensaries to become dual-use dispensaries opened on June 7, and they will receive licenses allowing them to sell recreational marijuana by Sept. 7. Since the state’s Cannabis Control Division said it is approving dispensary applications in the order in which they are received, there is no known specific date when Ohioans will be able to legally purchase recreational marijuana.

Like most other states that have legalized recreational cannabis, Ohio allows local jurisdictions to enact ordinances to prohibit or limit the sale of marijuana within their boundaries. As of Friday, at least 56 Ohio municipalities or boroughs have passed moratoriums banning adult-use cannabis businesses, according to Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. The Westerville City Council was the latest group to pass a moratorium Tuesday on the sale of recreational cannabis within city limits. The ban took effect immediately and is set to last through Jan. 7.

The 56 jurisdictions represent just under 10% of Ohio’s population, and the average population of the localities that have been subject to moratoriums is just over 21,100. The largest place where recreational marijuana commerce has been banned was West Chester Township, with a population of 64,830. The language of most of the moratoriums is brief, describing the need to ensure public health or safety.

A large number of bans are expected to be enacted over a set period, rather than indefinitely. Typically, the need for time to review current ordinances and identify conflicting laws is cited. The university said several municipalities have indicated their intention to study current legislation and create recommendations once final state rules for the recreational industry are adopted.

In central Ohio, Obetz, Marysville and Granville Township have a moratorium banning adult-use marijuana businesses. According to the university, Granville Township’s ban is in effect for an indefinite period, while Obetz’s will end Sept. 30 and Marysville’s Dec. 31.

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