Ohio group announces legal pot measure: 'Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol'

COLUMBUS, OH (AP/FOX19) - A spurned applicant for a medical marijuana grower's license has announced plans for a 2018 Ohio ballot issue to legalize the sale and possession of marijuana.

The proposal by Jimmy Gould, CEO of CannAscend, would make growing, processing, possessing, selling and using marijuana legal.

Gould says the "Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol" amendment will be on the ballot next fall. He says it would keep the existing medical marijuana program in place.

[Related: Ohio picks 12 large growers for medical marijuana, including location in Brown County]

Gould has criticized the state Department of Commerce for hiring a consultant with a drug conviction to help select Ohio's medical marijuana growers. Gould said at a Monday news conference the selection system was flawed by incompetence and favoritism.

Gould also worked with the group that the failed Issue 3 in 2015. The ballot measure would have legalized marijuana for recreational and medical use.

In 2016, Ohioans voted to legalize medical marijuana.

A message was left with the Commerce Department, which has rejected Gould's claims.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press and WXIX. All rights reserved.