Marijuana plants
Jim Mone / AP

Republican Attorney General Dave Yost has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have legalized recreational marijuana in the state for lack of valid signatures.

At least at some Southwest Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries, business has never been better despite the coronavirus outbreak.

Marijuana plants
Jim Mone / AP

Ohio’s Attorney General has rejected language for a proposed amendment to legalize recreational marijuana on the fall ballot. The move is not unusual, but it does add an additional hurdle for organizers.

Galenas in Akron harvested its third crop in February. It can complete four grows a year.
Amanda Rabinowitz / WKSU

You notice Galenas right away if you're driving down Main Street on Akron's east side. It's a modern, pyramid-shaped building with a wood-paneled façade, half a mile down the street from Bridgestone’s Akron tire center, nestled among car repair shops and surrounded by houses.

You can even catch a whiff of the roughly 750 marijuana plants growing inside.

Marijuana plants
Jim Mone / AP

A new effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio is underway. The proposal is called the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Amendment. 

On Friday, March 22, 2019, a participant smokes a marijuana cigarette during at meet and greet at "Tommy Chong's Live, Love, and Smoke Tour" in Los Angeles.
Richard Vogel / Associated Press

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss a renewed push to legalize recreational marijuana on Ohio's November ballot. Jackie Borchardt, Columbus bureau chief for the Cincinnati Enquirer, joins the show.

There will be smaller penalties for marijuana possession in Cleveland under legislation approved by city council Monday night.

The measure lowers penalties for possession of up to 200 grams, or seven ounces, removing fines and prison time. It aims to reduce incarceration rates and harsher enforcement against minorities.

Have a Heart Cincy, the first medical marijuana dispensary in Cincinnati's city limits and the largest dispensary in Ohio, is now open in Hartwell. What makes it unique is it's owned and operated by members of a church congregation.

A clerk reaches for a container of marijuana buds for a customer at Utopia Gardens, a medical marijuana dispensary, in Detroit, on Oct. 2, 2018.
Carlos Osorio / Associated Press

Some states around Ohio have legalized recreational marijuana. But Ohio’s Republican governor isn’t embracing that possibility.

With the new year come many new state laws across the country. There are the usual suspects — gun laws, marijuana legalization and housing protections — but there are also some new frontiers: groundbreaking laws concerning Internet user privacy and the classification of contract workers in California, for example.

Here are some of the most notable laws taking effect Jan. 1, in no particular order:

Red flag

Columbus Council members Emmanuel Remy and Shayla Favor, Mayor Andrew Ginther, and members Elizabeth Brown and Rob Dorans at an October press conference.
Columbus City Council / Facebook

Columbus City Council will bring an end to a busy year Monday night at its final meeting of 2019.

Joan Caleodis, of Martin's Ferry, Ohio, celebrates after making one of the first patient purchases of Ohio's Medical Marijuana program at Cresco Labs CY+ dispensary in Wintersville, Ohio, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019.
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Nearly 75,000 Ohioans have registered with the state to receive medical marijuana. Of those, just over 51,000 have actually purchased the product.

Major League Baseball announced changes to its drug use and testing policies on Thursday, removing marijuana from its "drugs of abuse" while announcing mandatory tests for cocaine and opioids. The policy will be effective starting in 2020 during spring training.

Players who test positive for prohibited substances, which include fentanyl and LSD, will be evaluated and prescribed a treatment plan. Those who don't obey the league's plan may be punished.

Ed Santillan is CEO of AgraPharm, LLC. He decided to get into the hemp industry after his wife discovered that CBD helped with her migraines.
Jared Murphy / WESA

At AgraPharm LLC’s warehouse in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, the scent of cannabis is potent.

“What you're smelling today is about only a third of what it really smells like when we first harvest the crop,” said AgraPharm’s CEO Ed Santillan.

Hemp farming exploded after the 2018 Farm Bill passed last December. The bill decriminalized the plant at the federal level, opening the door for many U.S. farmers to grow and sell hemp.

Over the past year, licensed hemp acreage increased more than 445%, according to the advocacy and research group Vote Hemp. More than 510,000 acres of hemp were licensed in 2019, versus about 112,000 acres in 2018.