Detroit Free Press Quotes Scott Johnson on Ohio's Recreational Marijuana Vote


Scott A. Johnson, a member of Eastman & Smith's Cannabis and Hemp Industry Group, was quoted in a November 7 article in the Detroit Free Press titled "Michigan Dispensaries Wait and Watch as Ohio Votes on Recreational Marijuana. Here's Why" (subscription required). The article discussed a proposed measure on Ohio's ballot that would legalize recreational marijuana usage for adults in the state. As recreational marijuana is already legal in Michigan, the article explored how passage of Ohio's measure would impact dispensaries in the Detroit area as well as the tax dollars Michigan is receiving from Ohio residents.

Mr. Johnson stated that “if Ohio legalizes recreational marijuana . . . it would likely be at least a year before dispensaries start to open in Ohio.” He said that since the measure is an initiated statute and not a constitutional amendment, it would need to go to the Ohio state legislature where adjustments can be made. The legislature would have to “pass rules and regulations and essentially put them into place.”

Mr. Johnson added that if the measure passes, “the state would handle the recreational marijuana industry similar to what it's done with medical marijuana and liquor, where prospective licensees must first be qualified to receive a license and then are entered into a lottery to receive a capped number of licenses.”

Mr. Johnson and Eastman & Smith's Cannabis and Hemp Industry Group has experience representing clients in this industry. The cross-disciplinary team has represented cultivators, producers, dispensaries, health care professionals and product manufacturers with their legal needs for both medical and recreational use in states where permitted by law. The group assisted parties in connection with the recent rollout of additional medical dispensary permits in Ohio via a lottery system. The Firm also has longstanding experience with legalized cannabis in Michigan, where the Firm represents cultivators and dispensaries. For questions regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana in Ohio, please contact Mr. Johnson.

(Note:  For details regarding the ballot initiative, please see Issue 2: Legal Recreational Cannabis May be Coming to Ohio on our web site.)