An amendment to Ohio's constitution allowing the production of cannabis will appear as one issue on the ballot if supporters are able to gather the required number of signatures.
The Ohio Ballot Board made the ruling with a unanimous vote Thursday afternoon.
If approved, the Ohio ballot issue would declassify hemp as a drug and allow it to be grown as a crop. The Ohio Department of Agriculture would regulate it.
"We would urge that it makes more sense not to allow the continued importation of Canadian hemp when we have tremendously superior hemp in the state that could be grown," said Bob Fitrakis of the Ohio Rights Group.
The proposal also allows adults with a "debilitating medical condition" to "use, possess, acquire, and produce" marijuana. It would create a board, the Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control, to regulate therapeutic uses.
"The Ballot Board really isn't our view of is this a good idea or well thought out or well designed; it's just the question of does this make one amendment on the ballot or two amendments on the ballot if they get sufficient signatures," said Senate President Keith Faber, who sits on the board.
Supporters need to turn in 385,253 valid signatures from half of the state's 88 counties to get the issue on the ballot. The Ohio Rights Group, which is pushing the issue, says there is not enough time to get it on this year's ballot, so they are aiming for 2014.