A reader and the ‘ROAR bill’

A reader and the ‘ROAR bill’

Dear Editor,

The Rural Ohio Agricultural Revitalization Bill. (We call it the ROAR bill).

The purpose of this piece of legislation is to ensure that Rural Ohioans benefit financially from the impending legalization of industrial hemp and marijuana.

Industrial hemp cultivation, processing, possession, use and sale shall be legalized in the State of Ohio. Said cultivation will be subject to the same guidelines and rules for other field crops and be regulated by the state Department of Agriculture. Hemp cultivation for non-commercial purposes shall not be restricted in any way.

Private citizens regardless of where they reside in the State of Ohio may possess up to six marijuana plants at any one time. Said plants and the marijuana produced from them are intended for personal consumption. They do not have the right to sell marijuana. Unlicensed sale of marijuana will be subject to minor misdemeanor charge.

Rural land owners may apply for an allotment to cultivate marijuana on a commercial basis through the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Said allotments will stipulate how many square feet may be dedicated to the commercial cultivation of marijuana. The recipient of the allotment will be required to cultivate an equal area of vegetables, mushrooms or fish for either personal consumption or retail/wholesale purposes.

Cultivation may take place indoors, in a greenhouse or hoop house, outdoors or any combination of those approaches. Hydroponics or aquaponics may be used in the cultivation of the allotted square footage of marijuana but the same technology must be used for the cultivation of the required square footage of vegetables.

The size of the allotment will be based on the Applicant’s previous year’s tax return. The less money you made last year, the larger the allotment. No allotments will be awarded to corporations or individuals earning an adjusted annual gross income in excess of $100,000.00. There will be no cost to the applicant for applying or receiving an allotment.

The marijuana produced under this system must be sold at auctions run by the State Department of Agriculture. Said auctions will be conducted in lots not to exceed 10 pounds. Auctions will be conducted in each county where allotments are issued. The marijuana may be sold directly to licensed retailers or corporations for processing, packaging, distribution and sale.

Licenses for the retail sale of marijuana will be administered by the Ohio Department of Commerce. Said licenses will not exceed $100 in total cost to include any fees associated with the application.

An excise tax of 10% will be levied on the auction sale of marijuana.

The Counties in which the sales take place will receive 25 % of this tax. 50 % of the tax will go into a fund to support STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) education in public High Schools and students pursuing STEAM studies at State Colleges and Universities. The remaining 25 % will go into the State General Fund. Normal sales taxes will also apply. No additional taxes shall be levied on the retail sale of marijuana. No local licenses will be required in addition to the State License.

Municipalities shall have the right to opt out of the issuance of licenses within their borders by a majority vote of the residents of said municipality.

Please contact me with your comments on this proposal.

Remember: politicians are supposed to work for us, not corporations. You have the right to expect them to act in your best interest.

Bill Hayes

Athens County, Ohio

A reader and the ‘ROAR bill’