In a stunning reversal, Ohio’s GOP-controlled Senate passed a revised bill that in many ways would expand the voter-approved marijuana legalization law that goes into effect on Thursday—by allowing adults to start buying cannabis from existing medical dispensaries in as soon as 90 days, maintaining home cultivation rights and providing for automatic expungements of prior convictions, among other changes.
Just days after the Senate General Government Committee advanced legislation to fundamentally undo key provisions of the cannabis initiative voters passed at the ballot last month—proposing to eliminate the home grow option and delaying legalization for at least one year until adult-use retailers started sales, for example—the panel dramatically walked back the measure and passed it in a unanimous bipartisan voice vote on Wednesday.
The full Senate then approved the legislation in a vote of 28-2.
Although the Senate has moved quickly to institute changes to the legalization law before it takes effect on Thursday, it is not clear if the House is also ready to make any reforms on an expedited basis—meaning that one form of legal cannabis could take effect this week only to potentially be reformed within a matter of days.
The overhaul of the measure comes one
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