Earlier this week, Ohio voters passed Issue 2 by a count of 57% to 43%, which means certain aspects of the legalization of recreational use and cultivation of marijuana will soon go into effect.

Ohio Farm Bureau, led by the organization’s grassroots policies, opposed Issue 2 because of the dangers marijuana use carries to the state’s workforce, more specifically to the safety of farm and food workers. With recreational marijuana now in play, there is also concern about the ability to keep employees on the payroll and fill the thousands of positions still needed to keep Ohio’s No. 1 industry moving in the right direction.

“Although Ohio Farm Bureau is disappointed about the outcome of Issue 2, it is important that we now look to keep our members informed about how these new statutes will impact them and their farms directly,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “As we work through all of the details of these major changes, we will continue to focus on business solutions and be a resource for any questions and concerns that come from the agriculture community around Issue 2.”

Although the sale of recreational marijuana will not likely happen until mid to late 2024, some of the new laws that come with Issue 2’s passage include that adults age 21 and older can buy and possess certain amounts of cannabis and concentrates and are now able to grow up to six plants individually or 12 plants in a household with multiple adults. In addition, dispensaries are allowed to sell a wide range of products, including flowers, seeds, edibles, vapes, oils, beverages, pills and lotions, among others.

As part of the new regulatory structure around recreational marijuana, the Division of Cannabis Control within the Ohio Department of Commerce will set rules for licensing, testing, product standards, investigations and would offer three different licenses: cultivator (growers), processor (businesses that turn cannabis into edibles, etc.) and dispensaries. Those products will be taxed at a 10% rate, with revenue going toward administrative costs, addiction treatment programs, municipalities with dispensaries, and a social equity and jobs program.

Of note from Issue 2 are the rights given to businesses who have employees. As part of the initiative, 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. 

Also of importance is that although Issue 2 passed in Ohio, recreational marijuana remains illegal federally as a “Schedule I” drug.

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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