YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – When Ohio voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana, they did so by way of an initiated statute, not a constitutional amendment. It means the Ohio Legislature can make changes. We’re starting to get an idea of what those changes may include, everything from advertising to taxes to THC content. On Tuesday, the man behind Youngstown’s marijuana grow facility responded.
Tuesday afternoon in the warehouse of Riviera Creek — where, behind the walls, marijuana was being grown — chairman Brian Kessler had one request for state legislators in Columbus, looking to change what voters already approved.
“If they really want to make a couple quick changes before the end of the month, fine, but don’t interfere with getting us turned on because that’s really the big challenge,” he said.
On Monday, Governor Mike DeWine, Senate President Matt Huffman and Speaker Jason Stephens met to discuss possible changes. Among the changes being reported are raising the sales tax above the 10% that was voted on.
“I get worried if you tax too much, you encourage illegal street product that comes in and undercuts you. I also get worried that they’re going to go to another state. They’ll go to Michigan if they can pay less over there,” Kessler said.
Another possible change: lowering the maximum amount of THC marijuana products can contain.
“I actually like high THC because it reduces the amount of consumption per times that people interact with the product,” Kessler said.
There’s talk of regulating advertising, and Kessler is opposed to any restrictions limiting advertising to adults.
“Obviously, we don’t want advertising for children, but alcohol is not allowed to be advertised for children. So as long as they follow the guidelines that currently exist for alcohol, that should make it easy to get those executed,” Kessler said.
Also being discussed are restrictions to prevent accidental ingestion.
“The regulated tested product already comes in sealed bags, comes in child-proof bags, comes with labels on it. You buy it from a regulated market,” Kessler said.
There are also reports about limiting the use of marijuana in public, and Kessler says he is OK with that.