Cannabis Today BDN Blog

Oh-High-No!

Oh-High-No! Disappointment, but no real surprise, in the heartland

By Becky DeKeuster

Ohio chose not to legalize cannabis this Election Day.

Hard to believe, I know. But it’s true: in a Midwestern state that has resisted medical cannabis for nearly two decades, during a non-presidential/non-congressional election year, with a legalization scheme seemingly designed to offend pretty much everyone, after a tin-eared campaign which played into some of the opposition’s most persistent stereotypes… a plan to legalize cannabis was rejected by Ohio voters.

Given the foundation described above, what could possibly have gone wrong? Not everything, but plenty.

The Plan: A group of investors bankrolled the effort to write and campaign for Issue 3, to the tune of $40 million or so. These funders then wrote themselves into the proposed law as a de facto oligopoly controlling the only ten land parcels where cultivation for retail sales could take place. Advocates have decried the high entry costs for medical cannabis licenses in states like Massachusetts (what mom and pop store has $500,000 to throw in escrow?); far too many saw the blatant money grab in Ohio as a bridge too far.

Read it all HERE