With Ohio voters passing Issue 2, adult-use cannabis sales could start in the next few months which means more tax revenue into the state.

Under the way it was passed in the election, every time a dispensary makes a sale there will be a 10% tax. That money goes to four different places:

  1. The Department of Commerce 
  2. Substance abuse and addiction centers 
  3. The Social Equity and Jobs Program 
  4. Townships and cities that have adult-use dispensaries

Local governments that get this influx of money can benefit the most because they can use it any way they want.

“If they want to put them toward park or law enforcement resources … if they need money for infrastructure to help construct or repair bridges or fix potholes in streets they can use that money for those purposes,” Tom Haren, a spokesperson for the Coalition to Regulate Marjuana like Alcohol said. 

Data researchers looked at other states that have already passed adult-use cannabis and are predicting that Ohio sales will bring in between 182 to 218 million dollars in the second year. They expect those numbers to keep growing and bring in up to 403 million dollars in the fifth year of sales. 

"At the beginning there's a big ramp up in terms of usage … by year five we anticipate that the usage will probably level off a little bit,” Jana Hrdinová, the Administrative Director of Ohio State Universities Drug Enforcement and Policy Center said. 

Haren feels the revenue will be a continuous amount of money coming into communities that they could rely on for years.

“People see how successful the adult-use programs actually are and you get more and more people transitioning away from the illicit market and more and more people who won’t drive up to Michigan,” Haren said. “They’ll start making purchases right here in the buckeye state.”

Even though the local benefits could be big, it won’t be a huge boost for the state's annual budget.

“I think it's somewhere below 1% or around 1% (of the state budget),” Dexter Ridgway, a Research Associate at Ohio State Universities Drug Enforcement and Policy Center said. “It could be useful for local projects, it could be useful for the different ways they have it set up but it's not a massive amount.”

When the legislation was passed by voters it allocated 3% of the tax revenue to the Department of Commerce, 25% to go to substance abuse and addiction centers, 36% to social equity and jobs programs and 36% to cities and townships that have adult-use dispensaries. The Ohio legislature can still change the guidelines of how the money is divided up between the four groups.

Even if the law goes unchanged, it could be a few years until townships and cities start seeing this money since local dispensaries say it could take a few years to get adult use dispensaries up and running.

Ohio became the 24th state to allow adult cannabis use for non-medical purposes. The new law will allow adults 21 and over to buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and to grow plants at home.