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  • Jordan T. Smith

How More Diversity Among Dispensary Owners Helps Ohio Marijuana Card Patients

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

How More Diversity Among Dispensary Owners Helps Ohio Marijuana Card Patients

When medical marijuana first appeared onto the scene, proponents believed minority involvement could serve as an opportunity to soften the blow the war on drugs delivered onto marginalized communities. Since 73 new dispensaries are slated to open in Ohio, the impact of increased diversity within the Ohio medical marijuana program is a hot topic again. Upon the arrival of medical marijuana in Ohio, state authorities agreed to reserve 15% of licenses for owners who represent disadvantaged communities like racial minorities. That caveat was ruled unconstitutional by a Madison County Common Pleas Court Judge.

One of the fears shared among Ohio medical marijuana dispensary owners from minority communities is that they’d essentially be excluded from the program without provisions requiring their participation. Given that only 9 of Ohio’s 57 dispensaries are currently minority-owned and operated, those fears seem justified. Unfortunately, the effects of the underrepresentation of minority communities in Ohio’s medical marijuana program aren’t just limited to dispensary owners. Medical marijuana patients in Ohio who represent underserved communities stand to benefit immensely from increased diversity among dispensary owners. Here’s how:

Medical Marijuana Patients Will Receive Care From Those Who Share Familiar Struggles with Traditional Healthcare

Members of marginalized communities sometimes face implicit biases from doctors and nurses in the traditional healthcare field. Those biases can damage the quality of care they receive, possibly having lifelong negative implications on their health. Additionally, there are some conditions that patients may be suffering from that they feel that only members of their community possess the experience to help them manage.

An increased emphasis on diversity being placed on new Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries means patients could potentially receive care from people who were once in their shoes. Ultimately, shared experiences can breed connection and familiarity. Forming a connection over shared experiences could help to build trust that allows patients to receive better care than ever.

A more diverse medical marijuana marketplace in Ohio could also encourage patients to share insights that they probably wouldn’t have before. That could have a profound long-term impact on the success of medical marijuana in Ohio.

Ohio Cannabis Dispensaries Can Better Connect With Patients to Provide More Effective Solutions

Any medical professional knows that the key to an accurate diagnosis is honesty from the patient. By increasing the levels of diversity within the Ohio medical marijuana program, patients will likely feel more confident disclosing details about their health that they would have possibly held back before. Details about lifestyle choices, ailments and medical history might not be the easiest thing to discuss for a lot of patients, so the option to discuss them with a dispensary owner from a similar walk of life could make difficult conversations much easier to have.

Having those difficult discussions helps not only that patient, but from other patients who could be in similar situations. Understanding what works and what doesn’t for specific conditions is vital in providing proper care, and there’s no better way to do that than with honest conversation. To get an accurate understanding of how effective Ohio’s medical marijuana program is, more perspectives have to be taken into account, especially perspectives from marginalized communities.

Encouraging and nurturing more diversity among the owners of medical marijuana dispensaries in Ohio is one of the most effective ways to guarantee the satisfaction of those patients who have traditionally been underrepresented. The only way to ensure that Ohio’s medical marijuana program truly works for every patient is for patients from all backgrounds to be well represented in each aspect of the program.

More Diversity Means More Perspectives Are Incorporated in Patient Satisfaction Efforts

The Ohio medical marijuana program should serve all Ohioans equally. The only way to ensure that can happen is when racial and ethnic minorities are represented on every level of the program, including dispensary ownership.

More diversity among Ohio medical marijuana dispensary owners will likely attract more diversity among patients, especially among those who might have been on the fence about securing their medical marijuana card previously. By getting those patients involved with the program, they can provide new feedback that informs treatment suggestions for other patients.

Involving people who were previously excluded could serve as a fast, effective method for improving Ohio’s medical marijuana program for members of marginalized communities. A lack of diversity within Ohio’s medical marijuana program could manifest itself in numerous ways, but one of the most glaring is by racial and ethnic minorities avoiding getting the help they need from the program.

Increasing the representation of minority communities in medical marijuana dispensary ownership can play a vital role in getting more involvement from those communities, which helps make sure the program is working for patients from all walks of life.

A Medical Marijuana Program Built to Serve All Ohioans

Over the course of the past year, racial equity in medicine has become a hot button issue. Since some Ohio medical marijuana card holders report having to make long drives in order to get their products, it’s safe to assume that conversations around equity are still important to continue having. Now that 73 new dispensaries have been given the approval to open, there’s a great opportunity for the Ohio medical marijuana program to improve the experience of patients that have suffered from the current shortage of minority-owned dispensaries in the state.

By emphasizing more diversity among dispensary owners, it’s much easier to convince patients that the Ohio medical marijuana program is designed to help treat all Ohioans regardless of background. Additionally, more dispensaries being owned by members of underserved communities makes it likely that patients won’t have to venture too far away from their local areas to get to their closest dispensary.

Have you been considering whether a medical marijuana card can help you or not? If so, don’t wait until one of the new dispensaries near you opens to get it. Get all of your questions answered by talking to one of our marijuana evaluation experts today so you can be ready to use your card as soon as a dispensary opens near you!


Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.

Here at Ohio Marijuana Card, our goal is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

If you have any questions, call us at (866) 457-5559, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Ohio Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Ohio.


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