Cincinnati entertainer Nick Lachey is the latest to join the ResponsibleOhio movement to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.
The singer and television personality will be an investor in a Summit County site that would be one of 10 locations where marijuana could be legally grown for wholesale distribution if ResponsibleOhio’s proposed constitutional amendment is approved by Ohio voters in November.
Organizers have pledged at least $20 million to finance the pro-pot campaign. Through Sunday, the group has collected more than 100,000 signatures to place the proposal on the November ballot, said ResponsibleOhio Executive Director Ian James. He predicts the group will reach the required 305,591 valid signatures by mid-June, a few weeks ahead of the July 1 deadline.
Lachey will join investors William “Cheney" Pruett and John Humphrey, executives with DMP Investments, in the Hudson, Ohio growth site.
"Ohio is my home, and as a resident and local business owner I am proud to be part of a movement that has the potential to create jobs, reinvigorate the local economy and improve the safety of our communities," Lachey said in a press release. "Passage of this proposal will result in much-needed economic development opportunities across Ohio, and update the state's position on marijuana in a smart and safe way."
Lachey is a multi-platinum recording artist who rose to stardom as lead singer of the band, 98 Degrees. His “Newlyweds” reality show was one of MTV’s biggest hits. He is currently host of the VH-1 show “Big Morning Buzz Live Hosted By Nick Lachey” and is in production on a new A&E documentary series with the working title “Lachey’s Bar” that follows brothers Nick and Drew Lachey as they open a sports bar in their hometown of Cincinnati.
Lachey is one of several investors with Cincinnati ties who are part of the ResponsibleOhio campaign. Others include venture capitalist Jimmy Gould, basketball legend Oscar Robertson, former Cincinnati Bengal Frostee Rucker and the politically-connected Taft brothers, Dudley and Woody.
The group claims it will create an estimated 10,000 new permanent jobs and an additional 10,000 construction jobs in Ohio through the development of testing, cultivation, processing and distribution facilities. It predicts the new industry will generate $554 million in new annual tax revenues by 2020, which will be used to fund economic development initiatives, infrastructure improvements and public safety services, statewide.
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