Issue 3, which failed miserably on Nov. 3, was promoted by an Ohio-grown team of proponents seeking economic advantage for themselves in addition to legitimizing what has been an illegal activity.
The next time around, whether it’s an initiative in the state Legislature to open up marijuana for medicinal use or some sort of citizen initiative, the effort to legalize the cultivation and sale of marijuana in Ohio will be different. The culture around weed is changing.
What was once seen as a social justice issue pushed by reformers — decriminalizing of the possession and use of pot — is being transformed into an economic issue: the development of a legitimate industry with vast growth potential.
Marijuana Business Daily, an industry news source, projects that the marijuana industry will be a $23 billion to $29 billion segment of the U.S. economy by 2019, up from $11 billion in 2015.
That industry, which did not broadly support the unsuccessful Ohio campaign, is quickly growing more powerful and more professional and likely will be more visible in Ohio in the future, based on interviews with a handful of industry leaders. [Read more at Crain’s Cleveland Business]