Ohio Latest City to Temporarily Ban Dispensaries Before Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

Just hours before recreational marijuana becomes legal in Ohio, Hamilton is the latest city in Southwest Ohio to temporarily ban shops. After hours of debate, the Hamilton City Council unanimously passed ordinances on Wednesday that briefly ban dispensaries in town. They said they would look at the ban again in six months. Medical marijuana businesses are already against the law.

During the public discussion, a number of people from Hamilton spoke. A lot of people were worried about how legalizing marijuana would affect kids and other people in the area, but some pointed out that other places would get tax money from banning dispensaries.

Many Hamilton precincts—17 of 18—voted to legalize recreational marijuana, but state lawmakers on both sides of the island have been rushing to make big changes to the law before Thursday’s deadline. Mayor Pat Moeller said that the council should be careful about how it approaches any new ban.

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“We are now in uncharted waters,” Moeller told the other people on the board. Michael Ryan, a council member, talked about how unclear the law is because politicians in the state are still proposing changes to it before Issue 2 goes into effect. When Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine spoke to the press on Wednesday night, he pushed for changes to “make sure that this was done right and that the program would be implemented properly.”

Ryan first said that the ban shouldn’t have a start date because it wasn’t clear what the rules would be all over the state. During the meeting, Ryan said, “Wait until the state of Ohio gets their act together.”

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The council finally agreed to a six-month ban. West Chester trustees just agreed yesterday that the growing, processing, and sale of marijuana will be banned for 360 days. On Monday, the Fairfield City Council voted to put a ban in place that will last until September 10, 2024. According to the law as it stands right now, recreational dispensary sales in Ohio will start in the fall of next year barring any significant changes.

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