2019 - The Year of Ohio Weed!
Happy New Year! 2019 is the year for medical marijuana in Ohio. This is because, by year's end, every single tester, processor, cultivator and dispensary should be open for business. In fact, it's very possible that, by January's end, Ohio patients will see the first MMJ sold in Ohio dispensaries. After all the waiting, cannabis is FINALLY here!
For anyone who's been following medical marijuana in Ohio, you probably already know that the road to dispensaries opening has been a bumpy one, with more than a few pot holes along the way. The industry was originally slated to begin rolling out September 8, 2018, but due to unforeseen delays with licenses, lawsuits and other bureaucratic hurdles, the official launch was pushed back a few months, to January 2019.
Now, with cultivators harvesting, drying and prepping their product, and testing facilities open and working hard on approving medical cannabis for sale, patients should begin to see dispensaries opening up all throughout the Buckeye State.
Among the first will be Cresco Labs, who is aiming to open in the coming days. “We’re targeting the week of [January] 15th for the store in Wintersville," Jason Erkes, spokesman for Cresco Labs' CY+ Wintersville Dispensary, told Cleveland.com. “But everything has to line up.”
Why does it take so long for cannabis to hit dispensary shelves?
In order for medical marijuana to be sold in dispensaries, a number of procedures must take place - the first of which is, quite naturally, cultivation. You can read about the entire cultivation process, from beginning to end, by viewing our tour of Buckeye Relief, a cultivation facility in Eastlake, Ohio.
After cannabis is cultivated, it must be tested for purity, toxicity and potency, so patients know they will get the best quality product for their money, free of bacteria, pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Once cannabis has been grown, dried, trimmed and tested, it must then be packaged for distribution. Once packed, cannabis is ready for sale in dispensaries!
Each of these steps requires a unique license, granted from the state. Each facility must meet a strict set of city and state guidelines about where their buildings are built, and how they operate their machinery, and use energy and resources (like water). Some cities even have firm regulations in place about pollution run off, from fertilizers used to grow cannabis, or other chemicals used to clean the products that are used for cultivation. This way, citizens don't have to worry about polluted drinking water.
It remains to be seen whether we will see other dispensaries open on January 15th. And with testing facilities just getting up and running, there could easily be delays because of problems that might arise during any one of the many steps remaining before dispensaries can open.
Supply shortages and costs
It is worth noting that supplies will be limited at launch. This may result in higher prices for a period of time, until every cultivation company is up and running, and dispensaries are in full swing. There are A LOT of Ohioans who will be seeking medical marijuana. Demand will be high, but supply will struggle to catch up until everyone is regularly harvesting.
If there are high costs or product delays at launch, know that these sorts of issues are common in every single state that has implemented a cannabis program. And judging from other states, this product shortage/higher price points are merely temporary.
Dispensaries near me
Medical marijuana dispensaries will be located all throughout the Buckeye State. In fact, nearly 60 locations will be sprouting up over the next year, with the potential for more in the future (if demand remains high...no pun intended).
Below is a map of where each of the dispensaries will be located. You can also click here for a more detailed looked at each where each location will be.
In the coming days, we will update this map once we know when dispensaries will officially open. We want our readers, patients and customers to know where to go to get their cannabis, so stay tuned to this page for more news!
If you are an Ohioan suffering from one of these 21 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products.
Click here to learn more about what Ohio Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at 1-866-457-5559 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.
Also, we've got a new episode of Ohio Marijuana Pod! Check it out here or click the video below: