Part of Ohio’s new medical marijuana law that sets aside a piece of the state’s budding pot business for minorities appears to be unconstitutional, legal experts told The Associated Press.
The provisions were inserted into the fast-tracked bill at the request of Democrats, whose votes were key to its passage in both Republican-controlled legislative chambers. The law made Ohio the 25th state to legalize medicinal cannabis. It takes effect Sept. 8.
The benchmarks require at least 15 percent of Ohio’s cultivator, processor, retail dispensary and laboratory licenses to go to the businesses of one of four economically disadvantaged minority groups — blacks, Hispanics, Asians or Native Americans — so long as an adequate number apply.
State Rep. Dan Ramos, a Latino Democrat from Lorain who offered the proposal, said he and members of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus feels it’s important to assure minority communities disproportionately punished under existing marijuana laws are allowed to benefit when medical marijuana is legalized. [Read more at The Cannabist at The Denver Post]
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