— A proposed constitutional amendment that calls for allowing Ohioans 21 and older to grow and use marijuana in private, regulate commercial growers and sellers similarly to alcohol businesses, ban marijuana use in public and give employers the right to retain drug free workplace policies. It would likely appear on the 2020 ballot.
Related: Ohio voters may be asked again to legalize recreational pot
“It is inevitable that marijuana is going to be legalized in this country,” James said Tuesday.
Ohio Families for Change — another pro legalization ballot group not associated with James — got the go-ahead in May to begin circulating petitions for a marijuana proposal for the November 2019 ballot.
James criticized that proposal, saying the wording contains a fatal flaw that would open the floodgates to drug dealers.
Related: What we know about effort to put marijuana back on the ballot
He said he is also working with Ohio lawmakers to pass legislation legalizing the cultivation of hemp.
The Ohio Farm Bureau does not yet have a position on hemp legalization but will begin discussions with farmers and experts this summer, spokesman Joe Cornely said. “Right now we’re starting to think about it and we want to know more.”
Related: High times for hemp
James and his investors are raising $130-million for a portfolio of marijuana-related business ventures, including offering insurance policies to marijuana businesses, cultivating hemp on 8,500 acres outside Ohio and pitching skin care products — soaps, lotions, sprays using cannabidiol — to national retailers.