Where Financial Support for Ohio’s Issue 2 Campaign is Coming From

As of Oct. 26, CRMLA had received $6,042,826 in total contributions.

This story was republished with permission from Crain’s Cleveland and written by Jeremy Nobile

More than $6 million has been contributed to the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s (CRMLA) marijuana legalization initiative since the group launched in 2021, according to Crain’s analysis of campaign finance reports.

Most of that money has come over the last several months as CRMLA continued to inch closer toward getting its proposed law for adult-use marijuana—i.e. Issue 2—on the Nov. 7 ballot.

After some fits and starts over the last couple of years, CRMLA’s referendum was officially certified for the ballot in August. As of mid-May, the campaign had received just $1.6 million in total contributions from just a few industry stakeholders plus the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C., legalization advocacy group.

Ohio’s pre-general-election deadline for campaign finance reports was Oct. 26. As of that deadline, CRMLA had received $6,042,826 in total contributions.

With $2.8 million in donations made—or about 46% of all funds received—the top contributor to the campaign remains MPP, an organization that credits itself with helping to pass 15 medical marijuana laws and legislative reforms in a dozen other states with adult-use programs.

Approximately $134,168, or about 2% of CRMLA’s financial contributions, have come from hundreds of individuals without any explicitly disclosed connection to existing cannabis companies. Outside a few exceptions, most of those individual contributions range in size from $10 to $100.

The other 52% of CRMLA’s funds come from cannabis industry stakeholders. That includes existing state-licensed medical marijuana cultivators, processors, retailers, testing labs and related service providers, like Wright-Patt Credit Union, a Fairborn-based financial institution that has become a go-to bank in Ohio’s cannabis industry.

The large amount of industry support for Issue 2 is to be expected due to the boon an adult-use market stands to provide for operators in the medical marijuana space.

The following is a look at the largest financial contributions made to the CRMLA by marijuana advocacy groups, licensed marijuana companies and/or their known affiliates and other interested parties. Locations refer to addresses listed by respective contributors in campaign finance reports:

Marijuana Policy Project(Washington D.C.): $2.8 million
Pure Ohio Wellness (Springfield, Ohio): $401,010
Standard Wellness Co. (Cleveland, Ohio): $377,500
Cresco Labs Ohio LLC (Chicago, Illinois): $295,000
FarmaceuticalRX (Columbus, Ohio): $250,000
Riviera Creek LLC (Youngstown, Ohio): $210,750
Curaleaf (Las Vegas, Nevada): $200,000
The Firelands Co. (Cleveland, Ohio): $178,000
Battle Green Holdings LLC (Columbus, Ohio): $172,500
ATCPC of Ohio LLC; dba Klutch Cannabis (Akron, Ohio): $157,228
Ohio Organizing Collaborative/Ohio Organizing Campaign (Youngstown, Ohio): $152,192
Certified Cultivators Corp. (Dayton, Ohio): $75,000
Wright-Patt Credit Union (Beavercreek, Ohio): $68,750
Appalachian Pharm Processing (Jackson, Ohio): $50,000
Beneleaves (Columbus, Ohio): $50,000
Buckeye Relief (Eastlake): $50,000
Harvest Grows LLC (Upper Arlington, Ohio): $50,000
New Gen Ohio (Jackson, Ohio): $50,000
North Coast Testing Laboratories (Twinsburg, Ohio): $50,000
Ohio Griz LLC; dba Story Cannabis (Columbus, Ohio): $50,000
127 OH LLC; dba Bloom Medicinals (Boca Raton, Florida): $40,575
National Financial Services LLC (Boston, Massachusetts): $25,000
OPC Processing LLC (Huron, Ohio): $25,000
FN Group Holdings LLC (Chagrin Falls, Ohio): $20,000
Nectar Markets LLC (Portland, Oregon): $20,000
Slightly Toasted LLC (New Albany, Ohio): $20,000
One Bond Laboratories LLC (Columbus, Ohio): $15,000
JVA Campaigns LLC (Columbus, Ohio): $14,250
McTigue & Colombo LLC (Columbus, Ohio): $11,902
Act Laboratories (Lansing, Michigan): $10,000
Rooted Management Services (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania): $10,000
Battleground Strategies LLC (Columbus, Ohio): $9,000

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