Ohio Adult-use Cannabis Ballot Falls Short of Required Signatures

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Ohio is working on getting adult-use cannabis on the November ballot but have fallen short on the required signatures.

Trying to make its’ way onto the November ballot, adult-use cannabis hopes to become legal. Campaign organizers hit a little bit of a snag when the state announced that only 123,367 signatures were valid, according to a letter from Secretary of State Frank LaRose sent to the campaign (1).

In order to qualify to be on the fall ballot, campaign organizers only have 8 days left to acquire “an additional 679 valid signatures,” LaRose wrote (1).

The campaign trying to legalize adult-use, also known as recreational use, cannabis is the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol campaign. They submitted more than 223,000 signatures to the Ohio secretary of state earlier in the month of July 2023. After the signatures were submitted, the state said that only 123,367 signatures were considered valid and the campaign would need to get back out there and gather almost 700 valid signatures (1). Tom Haren, spokesperson for the Regulate Marijuana Lie Alcohol campaign believes that it will be simple and “is going to be easy, because a majority of Ohioans support our proposal to regulate and tax adult use marijuana,” he added (1).


If adult-use cannabis can make its’ way onto the November ballot and a majority of voters approve to legalize it, Ohio would become the third state to legalize adult-use cannabis in 2023.

In Oklahoma, voters had voted against and supported rejecting recreational use legalization during a March 2023 special election. “Today’s decision in Oklahoma is heartbreaking, especially considering how many challenges this bill faced before it got to the ballot and how much work advocates put in,” said Jeffrey M. Zucker, co-founder and president of Denver-based cannabis consultancy Green Lion Partners and vice chair of the board at the Marijuana Policy Project, a national legalization advocacy group (2). “We have a long way to go to undo the damage of the war on drugs, especially in a state where more than 4,500 people are arrested annually for cannabis possession,” he added. However, both Delaware and Minnesota passed adult-use legislation which have been signed into law.

Recently, lawmakers in Pennsylvania reintroduced a bipartisan legalization push to legalize adult-use for cannabis (3). It has support from the Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro.

In Ohio, medical cannabis is legal and their sales are anticipated to reach more than $575 million in 2023, according to MJBiz Factbook (1). The state has so far licensed 92 dispensaries and 37 cultivators.


  1. Roberts, C. Ohio Adult-use Marijuana Ballot Bid Falls Shy of Needed Signatures (accessed Jul 27, 2023).
  2. Huhn, K. Oklahoma Voters Reject Adult-use Marijuana Legalization (accessed Jul 27, 2023).
  3. Roberts, C. Adult-use Marijuana Legalization Push Renewed in Pennsylvania (accessed Jul 27, 2023).