It’s now legal to use and possess recreational marijuana in Ohio. However, there is still no legal place to purchase it.

Although the law approved by voters in November went into effect on Thursday,  Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and state lawmakers continue working to make changes in the new law.

Spurred by Republican efforts to place restrictions on the law, the Ohio Senate has passed a bipartisan bill that now goes on to the House for consideration.

The proposed changes would permit people over 21 to grow up to six marijuana plants per household, which is half of the twelve plants that would have been permitted under Issue Two.

Under the proposed law, the growing of homegrown marijuana would have to take place within a secured closet, room, greenhouse, or other enclosed area that prevents access by those under twenty-one years of age and cannot be seen by members of the public. Growing and smoking marijuana would also be prohibited in homes that serve as child daycare centers.

Landlords of rental properties would be permitted to include marijuana growing and smoking prohibitions in their rental agreements.

Current prohibitions that apply to smoking tobacco in public indoor places would also apply to smoking marijuana.

The bill proposes that levels of THC in marijuana sold could be up to 35% for plant material and 50% for extracts.

In addition, anyone who has been convicted of having 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana could request to have their criminal record expunged.

The bill will increase the sales tax on the drug from 10 to 15 percent, providing funding for a suicide prevention hotline, poison control centers, and $15 million for courts and legal aid to ensure that legal fees are not a barrier to expungement.

Each of Ohio’s 88 counties could also cash in under the current form of the bill. A board of county commissioners may levy an additional excise tax of up to three percent of the retail sale of adult-use marijuana in the county.

The bill would restore the total number of dispensaries allowed in Ohio to the levels in Issue 2, allowing licensed medical dispensaries to sell marijuana and marijuana products to adults 90 days after enactment, instead of waiting 9 months for adult-use dispensaries to be given licenses.

Don’t expect to see TV ads selling marijuana.  Senators want similar rules on the advertising of tobacco or alcohol applied to the sale of marijuana and would be at least as stringent as the most stringent state laws or rules.

The latest version of the proposed bill as of Thursday, December 7 may be seen below: