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Ohio Senators Take Testimony On Controversial Marijuana Legalization Overhaul As House Republican Files Alternative Bill

Ohio senators held a second meeting on a bill to significantly change the state’s marijuana legalization law that’s set to take effect this week, hearing public testimony amid sharp criticism of the GOP-led effort. In other chamber, meanwhile, a Republican representative has filed alternative legislation that would largely preserve what voters approved at the ballot, with certain exceptions such as a proposed ban on sharing cannabis between adults.

One day after the Senate General Government Committee gave initial approval to the cannabis overhaul measure, voting to attach it to an unrelated House-passed bill, the panel reconvened on Tuesday to take testimony, hearing from business owners, advocates and legalization opponents.

The legislation—which Senate President Matt Huffman (R) hopes to advance to the floor as early as Wednesday, before legalization takes effect on Thursday—would make fundamental alternations of the voter-passed initiated statute.

For example, it would eliminate a home grow option for adults, criminalize the use and possession of marijuana obtained outside of a licensed retailer, reduce the possession limit, raise the sales tax on cannabis and steer funding away from social equity programs and toward law enforcement. The bill also contains substantive amendments related to THC limits, public consumption and changes

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