BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – President Joe Biden pardoned thousands of Americans with federal marijuana possession convictions. Now law experts and a CEO of a medical marijuana dispensary are weighing-in on the impact it could have in Ohio.

“I was sitting in a meeting and it came across my phone and I was totally, totally shocked, I was ecstatic,” Harvest of OH CEO Ariane Kirkpatrick said.

Kirkpatrick runs three medical marijuana dispensaries across Ohio, including one in Beavercreek. According to a release, Harvest of OH is the only majority, minority owned and vertically integrated cannabis company in the state.

Kirckpatrick said people of color are disproportionately affected by marijuana possession convictions.

“The discrimination against minorities who have been charged way more,” Kirkpatrick said. “The usage has been the same, but we’re charged four times more.”

President Biden’s pardon works solely at the federal level. Miami Valley law experts said it signals the President is following through on campaign promises, but it won’t affect the millions of people with state-level convictions.

“The key with Biden’s act is a little have absolutely no impact at all on Ohio law,” University of Dayton Law Professor Tom Hagel said.

Experts said it would take Ohio lawmakers to decriminalize marijuana for Biden’s actions to mean anything, and it’s unlikely that will happen soon.

“If you still have the laws on the books, you can pardon all those people who have been convicted, but then what about you keep having people who are convicted in the future,” Cedarville University Professor of History and Law Dr. Marc Clauson said.

Even locally, the affect is minimal. A statement from the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office said:

“The President’s actions today will not affect our office as we follow state law. In addition, municipalities can have their own ordinances concerning marijuana possession, which would also not be affected by the President’s actions.”

Kirckpatric said the President’s small action is a call to action for Congress to lessen the severity of marijuana possession, and for Ohio’s leaders to decriminalize marijuana possession.

“It’s just unfair practice, and this is a strong, strong beginning to a change that can help so many,” Kirkpatrick said.

In 2019, the City of Dayton decided to decriminalize marijuana possession, after voters decided to eliminate the fine for minor misdemeanor offenses in 2018.