Over the past week, marijuana legalization has heated up in Ohio. While
states like Colorado, Washington, and Alaska experimented with medical
marijuana before legalizing it on the recreational front, Ohio sought
to become the first state to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana
simultaneously. Early last week,
many reported that the Constitutional amendment in Ohio would pass, although the margin
was slim. However, on November 3, 2015, Ohio voters officially
rejected the marijuana passage, at least for now.
Aside from becoming the first state to legalize medical and recreational
pot use at the same time, the Ohio amendment was unusual. Specifically,
Ohio identified 10 specific land plots where pot growing would be allowed.
From there, marijuana distributors would have to buy from one of the 10
determined pot plots. Those whom opposed the legalization argued that
having only 10 plots would create a “marijuana monopoly.”
Perhaps even odder than the proposed changed Ohio was the investor list
pushing for change. Leading the charge was ResponsibleOhio, a 25 investor
group that own the proposed pot farms. On the investor roll call are boy
band premier Nick Lachey, former NFL player Fostee Rucker, members of
the former presidential Taft family, and former NBA legend Oscar Robertson.
Aside from estimating a $1 billion influx of revenue to Ohio, the advocates
also claim that a 10 plot structure would hardly be a monopoly.
While the marijuana passage in Ohio failed for now, it will likely be on
the ballot in the future. It will be interesting to see how Ohio and other
states deal with it in the future. Seemingly upset with the results of
the failed vote, Ian James, the leader of the initiave, said, “Let’s
stop pretending either that Ohioans don’t consume marijuana or that
only bad people do.” True or not, such a view is likely not the
speech to get marijuana passed in Ohio. Perhaps a more open market system,
or the feeling of a more open market will lead to a different result in
Ohio down the road.
About the author: Mr. Donnini is the president and founder of Tobacco Tax
Refunds, Inc. He is also multi-state sales and use tax attorney and an
associate in the law firm Moffa, Gainor, & Sutton, PA, based in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida. Mr. Donnini has extensive knowledge handling wholesale
tax controversy and refunds.
In his law practice Mr. Donnini's primary practice is multi-state sales
and use tax as well as state corporate income tax controversy. Mr. Donnini
also practices in the areas of federal tax controversy, federal estate
planning, Florida probate, and all other state taxes including communication
service tax, cigarette & tobacco tax, motor fuel tax, and Native American
taxation. Mr. Donnini obtained his LL.M. in Taxation at NYU. Mr. Donnini
is licensed to practice law in Florida. If you have any questions please
do not hesitate to contact him via email [email protected]
or phone at 954-639-4496