Husted reported that the initiative campaign had collected 320,267 valid voter signatures; it needed 305,000 to qualify for the ballot.
The initiative is controversial among marijuana legalization supporters because it creates a “monopoly” of 10 allowed commercial marijuana grows, and those spots have already been allocated to people who have invested in the campaign.
The initiative would also create a system of licensed marijuana processing facilities and retail outlets. And it would allow individual Ohioans to grow and possess small amounts of marijuana.
“It’s time for marijuana legalization in Ohio, and voters will have the opportunity to make it happen this November — we couldn’t be more excited,” said ResponsibleOhio spokesman Ian James after Husted’s announcement. “By reforming marijuana laws in November, we’ll provide compassionate care to sick Ohioans, bring money back to our local communities and establish a new industry with limitless economic development opportunities.”
Look for extensive coverage of the initiative and the campaign from the Chronicle in coming days and weeks. In the mean time, check out our in-depth coverage of the initiative and the controversy from last month here.