Poll Affirms, Again, Most Ohioans Plan to Vote ‘Yes’ on November’s Rec Weed Measure

It’s looking more and more likely that Ohio may legalize adult-use cannabis this November, as the most recent poll on the subject once again affirms that a majority of voters in the state are ready to take the plunge.

A poll commissioned by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA)—the campaign supporting the ballot initiative—and conducted by FM3 Research surveyed likely November voters in mid-August, specifically asking about their stance on ushering in recreational cannabis laws for the Buckeye State.

The results found that roughly three out of five Ohio voters support the cannabis legalization measure set to appear on the November ballot, and nearly two-thirds of respondents said that they believe adult-use cannabis legalization in Ohio is “inevitable.”

Most Ohioans Support November’s Adult-Use Cannabis Measure

The survey consisted of 843 total interviews for Ohio voters likely to turn out for this November’s elections through telephone calls, email and text invitations. 

Nearly two-thirds of voters approved of the state’s medical cannabis system (63% total, with 29% “strongly approving” and 34% “somewhat approving”), a slight drop from September 2020’s 70% total. When asked, “Regardless of how you feel about this specific measure, do you think marijuana should be taxed, regulated, and legalized for adults in Ohio?” 67% agreed (50% strongly and 17% somewhat), once again a slight dip from 2022’s 71% and 2020’s 73%.

The survey also asked Ohioans, regardless of how they feel about adult-use cannabis personally, if they believe the legalization of cannabis in the state is “inevitable.” Sixty-three percent said yes.

The poll then looked at the specific measure on the upcoming ballot. 

A total of 59% of respondents said yes, they were planning to vote for the upcoming cannabis measure — albeit in varying capacities. Thirty-eight percent said “definitely yes,” 17% said “probably yes,” while 5% said “undecided, lean yes.”

About Ohio’s Adult-Use Cannabis Measure

This ballot measure would legalize possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis for adults over the age of 21, along with up to 15 grams of cannabis concentrates. Individuals could grow up to six plants for personal use, capping out at 12 plants per household. The measure would also impost a 10% sales tax on cannabis sales, with revenue divided to support social equity and jobs programs (36%), localities allowing adult-use cannabis enterprises to operate in the region (36%), education and substance misuse programs (25%) and administrative costs of implementing the system (3%).

The measure would also establish a Division of Cannabis Control under the state Department of Commerce, with the authority to “license, regulate, investigate, and penalize adult use cannabis operators, adult use testing laboratories, and individuals required to be licensed.”

Current medical cannabis businesses would also enjoy a headstart in the recreational market, as regulators would begin issuing adult-use licenses to qualified applicants who operate existing medical cannabis businesses within nine months of enactment. The division would also be required to issue 40 recreational cultivator licenses and 50 adult-use retailer licenses, with preference to applications participating under the cannabis social equity and jobs program.

Municipalities would also be allowed to opt out from allowing new recreational cannabis companies from operating in the area, though they could not block existing medical cannabis businesses from expanding to add co-located adult-use operations. Employers would also be allowed to maintain policies prohibiting workers from consuming recreational cannabis.

Consistent With Other Recent Polling

The results itself says that the results are “remarkably consistent” with other recent, publicly-released polls. 

One of the most recent polls, conducted by Fallon Research and published in August, found that 59% of voters said they would vote yes on the initiative. This poll also used colloquial ballot language when prompting answers, referencing the specific policy changes Ohioans could expect if they voted yes.

Another recent poll conducted by Suffolk university also found that 59% of voters support legalizing adult-use cannabis possession and sales.

A recent study shows that the adult-use market could also create potential for hefty boosts in tax revenue. The study conducted by Ohio State University suggests that the state could generate between $275 million and $403 million by the fifth year of operations in adult-use tax revenue, should voters move to legalize.

The most recent poll data can be found here.

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