The initiated statute is gathering signatures to send their language to the Ohio legislature right now. If the legislature doesn’t take action on the bill, organizers could gather more signatures and put the issue on the ballot in Ohio as early as November 2022.
Her hope is that even as a medical patient, she’d benefit from legalized marijuana in Ohio. In other states, that move often results in more dispensaries, more product selection, and lower prices.
“If you allow those small businesses to grow, the money stays home,” said Korff. “If you allow big businesses to grow often times that means the money is going elsewhere.”
“What we wanted to ensure is that when the program launches, we have product available in the market because if you don’t do that, then it is not really a meaningful alternative to the unregulated [illegal] market,” said Haren.
It’s a trust that Laura DeAngelis already has and wants to see other people develop too in a recreational program in Ohio.
The initiated statute would use 36% of the tax on cannabis products to create the Cannabis Social Equity and Jobs Fund, providing assistance to people who meet certain criteria to help them get into the recreational marijuana industry.
“I think she’s exactly right and that’s generally the intent of transitioning into an adult-use market,” said cannabis attorney and Frantz Ward LLP Partner Tom Haren, who represents some of Ohio’s medical marijuana companies and also the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol.
While the eventual shift from medical-only to adult-use could be lucrative, Haren says it wasn’t always something companies were willing to depend on.
“Ultimately, what happens in the Michigan market is there’s a lot more supply, demand is still high, so prices are comfortable for everyone,” said Korff.
Both would legalize the possession of marijuana for personal use for anyone older than 21 years of age, potentially creating a substantial tax revenue stream that doesn’t exist right now.
“[Medical Marijuana] has helped me so much so that I’m able to get out of the house, move around, where I would be stuck in bed-rest for days,” said DeAngelis.
“I think there were certainly some companies that looked at Ohio’s medical program and were thinking five or 10 or four years down the road, to eventual adult-use,” said Haren, pointing out that many of them also were simply focused on helping Ohio medical marijuana patients because legalization wasn’t as inevitable as it seems to be in 2021.
Galenas is a Level II Cultivator, the smaller of Ohio’s two cultivation levels. Level I Cultivators can build up to 25,000 square feet of growing space, Level II Cultivators can build up to 3,000 square feet. Licenses are supposed to be able to apply to build more space but that process has been slow in the program’s first few years.
Here are the main ways each option would change marijuana law in Ohio:
“I buy [medical marijuana edibles] in bulk because the local dispensary is about 40 minutes away so it’s kind of hard to me to get out there all the time,” said DeAngelis.
“I would love to see it,” said DeAngelis.
How things change.
Soon after, Laura DeAngelis became a medical marijuana patient to treat the chronic pain she struggles with because of her fibromyalgia.
If either proposed legislation becomes law, Ohio’s existing medical marijuana businesses would have a sizable advantage because they would be able to instantly shift their operations to create products for the recreational market. Other businesses would be allowed to go through an application process to get additional marijuana licenses, but that process and building their facilities would take time.
How did we get here?
Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program was created by House Bill 523, which took effect on September 8, 2016.
Korff says that ability to compete matters because while all medical marijuana operations have to employ local people in local facilities right now, his business is headquartered in Akron. Other cannabis companies have individual state operations to follow state laws, but are often based elsewhere.
If the initiated statute becomes law, the bigger growers would be able to expand to 100,000 square feet and the smaller growers could expand to 15,000 square feet, which Korff fears wouldn’t be enough to keep up with a rapidly expanding recreational use market.
Ohio is watching two separate paths to adult-use legalization develop, one through the traditional legislative process and the other through an initiated statute by a group called Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol.
The legislation’s proposed tax would help fund education, road and bridges maintenance, and fund marijuana research.
The issue in her first two years as a patient is that there aren’t many dispensaries near her home around Geneva-on-the-Lake, the price is high when she can get to a dispensary, and Ohio’s medical product supply is sometimes unpredictable.
“It’s an advantage being a first mover, but at the same time, we’ve got a relatively small operation here,” said Korff. “In order to really compete in an adult-use market, we have to grow this business pretty significantly.”
CLEVELAND — Legal marijuana is coming to Ohio one way or another, many industry experts agree. The questions are: will Ohio be ready when it happens and how will it change the state’s existing, heavily-regulated medical program?
Geoff Korff’s cannabis business, Galenas, started in Ohio and expanded to Michigan’s recreational market during the pandemic. He’s allowed to have a much larger operation in Michigan because different state laws, he says, fosters a much more robust legal market.
If you are convicted for the illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana and the amount of marijuana is between 200 grams and 1 kilogram, you will be charged with a fifth degree felony. This entails at least six and up to 1 year in prison in addition to fines up to $2,500.
Illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana is defined according to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 2925.04) as anyone who knowingly cultivates, grows, manufactures or engages in the production of marijuana or substances containing marijuana. “Knowingly” is further explained someone who purposefully conducts themselves in a way that they have the knowledge or intent to grow or cultivate marijuana.
Every day in Ohio, there are many individuals who are charged with illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana. Although each case is different, it is imperative that you obtain an experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate attorney who will fight for your legal rights and best interest. Cincinnati drug attorneys from LHA have successfully defended hundreds of individuals charged with illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana. Their knowledge, experience and compassion for your case will help you receive the justice you deserve.
Ohio illegal cultivation penalty breakdown.
If you are facing your first conviction for illegal cultivation and growing or marijuana in Ohio, the court may be more lenient with your sentence. A clean criminal record can will undoubtedly work to your advantage if you are convicted. Cincinnati drug attorneys from LHA will do everything in their power to argue for a reduction in your charges and minimizing your penalties.
If you are convicted for the illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana in Ohio, the penalties that you will face are dependent the amount of marijuana that was cultivated and whether the offense was near a school or minor.
If you are convicted for the illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana and the amount of marijuana is less than 100 grams and the offense was near a school or minor, then you will be charged with a fourth degree misdemeanor. You will face up to 30 days in jail and fines up to $150.
If you are convicted for the illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana and the amount of marijuana is greater than 20 kilograms, you will be charged with a second degree felony. This entails at least two and up to eight years in prison in addition to fines up to $15,000.
If you are convicted for the illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana and the amount of marijuana is greater than 20 kilograms and the offense occurred near a school or a minor, then you will be charged with a first degree felony. This entails at least three and up to 10 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.
If you are convicted for the illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana and the amount of marijuana is between five and 20 kilograms, then you will be charged with a third degree felony. This entails at least one and up to five years in prison in addition to fines up to $10,000.
Illegal Cultivation and Growing of Marijuana Penalties in Ohio.
Illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana is a serious criminal offense in Ohio. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance in Ohio, which means that it has a high risk of addiction and dependency in addition to having a recognized medical value. In some states, growing marijuana is legal and is permitted for medicinal use. In Ohio, the growing, cultivation, production or manufacturing of marijuana in any form is strictly illegal. It is considered both a state and federal offense. Penalties typically include extensive prison time and fines, which can vary based the amount of marijuana involved and whether the offense occurred near a school or minor.
If you are convicted for the illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana and the amount of marijuana is between 100 and 200 grams, then you will be charged with a fourth degree misdemeanor and face a maximum of 30 days in jail and up to $150 in fines.
If you are convicted for the illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana and the amount of marijuana is less than 100 grams, you will be charged with a minor misdemeanor. This entails a $150 fine.
If you are convicted of illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana, you will also face a possible driver’s license suspension.
Defending Illegal Cultivation and Growing of Marijuana.
If you are convicted for the illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana and the amount of marijuana is between five and 20 kilograms and the offense occurred near a school or a minor, then you will be charged with a second degree felony. This entails at least two and up to eight years in prison in addition to fines up to $15,000.
Regardless of what the facts and circumstances of your case are, there are defenses that can be raised on your behalf. Cincinnati drug attorneys from LHA will take the time to examine what legal strategies are most appropriate in defending your case.
The following are a list of factors that are taken into consideration in determining whether there were any errors made in your case:
If you are convicted for the illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana and the amount of marijuana is between 1 kilogram and 5 kilograms, then you will be charged with a third degree felony. This entails a minimum of 1 year and up to five years in prison in addition to fines up to $10,000.
If you are convicted for the illegal cultivation and growing of marijuana and the amount of marijuana is between 1 kilogram and 5 kilograms and the offense occurred near a school or near a minor, then you will be charged with a second degree felony. This entails at least two and up to eight years in prison in addition to fines up to $15,000.
In some instances, having one’s criminal record sealed may be a solution to many collateral issues. This option is only available for certain offenses, so it is important to consult with an attorney to discuss how you can either prevent or alleviate the consequences to a conviction.
1 – 5 Years With a rebuttable presumption in favor of imposing a prison sentence.
2 – 8 Years With Sentencing guided by O.R.C. §2929.13(C)
Marijuana Grow House Operations in Ohio.
Although the statute generally classifies the offense as a misdemeanor, it can carry fines and a presumption of prison time, depending on the degree of the offense, where it was committed and the amount of marijuana in question.
An outdoor marijuana grow house may be more visible to law enforcement than an indoor operation simply by its visibility. Police may be able to spot a greenhouse or a lath house in plain view and detect the odor of marijuana just by approaching the outdoor grow house. Also, the presence of landscaping equipment gives rise to circumstantial evidence of marijuana growth, as does the accumulation of mold on plants left unattended.
200 grams – 1 kilogram.
Under Ohio law, cultivation of marijuana can be either a misdemeanor or felony offense, but depends on the amount grown or cultivated. A conviction for this offense can result in severe and potentially life-altering consequences, which may include, but are not limited to the following:
1 – 5 Years With Sentencing guided by O.R.C. §2929.13(C)
Ohio Police Investigation Statistics on Grow House Operations.
Law enforcement uses a variety of innovative tactics for monitoring marijuana grow house operations, including surveillance of hydroponic supply stores. Sometimes law enforcement may set up bogus online hydroponic stores to monitor who visits the site and show interest in the product. Police may also use thermal imaging devices to monitor the amount of heat generated within the structure or dwelling where marijuana cultivation takes place.
Another method law enforcement officers may obtain probable cause is through a tip from a neighbor who suspects you are cultivating marijuana. A confidential informant can also report the activity to the police.
The seized contraband must be held for a reasonable time, but not exceeding seventy-two hours. If at any time prior to the expiration of that time period, the law enforcement agency files a petition for additional time to inspect, investigate or gather evidence, the agency may file a petition in the court of common pleas that has jurisdiction over the case. An immediate hearing will be scheduled upon the filing of the petition.
Marijuana Cultivation Penalties in Ohio.
Less than 100 grams.
A marijuana grow house is either an indoor or outdoor system for cultivating marijuana and often consists of sophisticated irrigation systems, lighting systems and electrical wiring. A grow house can be any structure or place containing marijuana including, but not limited to a home, greenhouse, trailer or shed.
Informants may also be used to target the alleged offender. Tips are often acquired from informants with a particular bias against the alleged offender or with personal motivation to exchange information for a reduction or dismissal of their own pending criminal charges.
Police can raid indoor marijuana grow house operations by detecting the smell of marijuana or through electric bill monitoring. High kilowatt usage or stolen usage coupled with the distinct odor of marijuana plants are usually enough to satisfy probable cause for a search warrant.