As we near the end of the 2023 General Election process, many of our members are asking for more information about state Issue 2, which would legalize certain aspects of the recreational use and cultivation of marijuana. As you head to the polls or submit your absentee ballot to be counted, here is additional information about Issue 2, and why Ohio Farm Bureau encourages members to vote “no” on legalizing recreational marijuana on Nov. 7.

What is Issue 2?
Issue 2 would authorize and regulate the cultivation, processing, sale, purchase, possession, home growth, and use of recreational marijuana by adults over the age of 21.

What is Ohio Farm Bureau’s position on Issue 2?
Ohio Farm Bureau is opposed to Issue 2. This decision, made by the Ohio Farm Bureau Board of Trustees, falls directly in line with the policies created through our organization’s grassroots process.

What are the concerns about Issue 2 for the agricultural community?
Maintaining a healthy, strong, and vibrant workforce is a top priority for Ohio Farm Bureau as our members grow food, fiber, and fuel for the world and contribute billions of dollars to our state’s economy.

The passage of Issue 2 would jeopardize not only the safety of farm and food workers, but the ability to keep employees on the payroll and fill the thousands of positions still needed to keep Ohio’s #1 industry moving in the right direction.

What are the concerns about Issue 2 for the business community?
Many groups who oppose Issue 2 worry about the impact on employers and how they will develop workplace safety policies and procedures to protect their employees and businesses.

Marijuana use in the workplace has been linked to an increase in occupational accidents and injuries due to short-term effects of the drug, such as memory issues, impaired sense of timing, decreased reaction time, altered problem-solving capabilities, changes in sensory perception and impaired body movements. Although employers will still have the ability to maintain a drug-free work policy, legalized recreational marijuana still creates concerns for Ohio’s workforce due to the influence of recreational marijuana such as increased absenteeism, decreased productivity, and negative impacts on workplace safety.

What happens if Issue 2 passes?

  • It would allow adults age 21 and older to buy and possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis and 15 grams of concentrates.
  • It would allow Ohioans age 21 and older to grow up to six plants individually and no more than 12 in a household with multiple adults. Adult users could transfer up to 6 plants to another adult user, but cannot accept any payment for such transfer and such transfer is not advertised to the public.
  • Dispensaries would be allowed to sell a wide range of products: flower, seeds, edibles, vapes, tinctures, oils, beverages, pills and lotions, among others. Ohioans could petition state regulators to allow the sale of another form of cannabis not outlined in the proposed law.
  • Issue 2 would tax products at 10%, with revenue going toward administrative costs, addiction treatment programs, municipalities with dispensaries, and a social equity and jobs program.
  • The Division of Cannabis Control within the Department of Commerce would set rules for licensing, testing, product standards, investigations and more. As part of that, the division would set a THC content cap of at least 35% for plant material and 90% for extracts.
  • Like the medical marijuana program, Ohio would offer three different licenses: cultivator (growers), processor (businesses that turn cannabis into edibles, etc.) and dispensaries.
  • Landlords can prohibit home growth activities so long as the prohibition is in the applicable lease agreement.
  • Public and private employers will be able to develop their own policies for marijuana, such as rules around drug testing and use while on the job.
  • If Issue 2 passes in Ohio, recreational marijuana would still remain illegal federally as a schedule I drug.

To review how Issue 2 will appear on your ballot, you can select your county here and view your sample ballot.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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