• Suzanna Thallman

Ohio's Medical Marijuana Program Takes Shape, Slowly

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

This statement comes as no surprise to Ohio patients that have been following the rollout of the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. When House Bill 523 was passed in the summer of 2016, state lawmakers settled on a deadline of August, 2018 for Ohio's medical marijuana to become operational. August came and went, and it would not be until December, 2018 that the Ohio Board of Pharmacy activated the Patient Registry, and yet another month after that until the first dispensary opened in Wintersville.


We are now about 11 months into Ohio's program being officially launched, and while the rollout has been slow, the program is beginning to taking shape. As of this writing, there are 45 dispensaries that have been approved for operations out of the 56 dispensaries that were granted provisional licenses back in June of last year. On the cultivation side, over half of the 25 cultivators currently have product on dispensary shelves, and there are currently around 12 operational processors turning flower in to other marijuana products.


While this has been understandably frustrating, developments and announcements in Ohio's medical marijuana program have been steadily accelerating over the past couple of weeks. Just last month the OMMCP announced the largest group of dispensary announcements in relative succession so far.


In addition to dispensary access becoming more widespread, there are select dispensaries and cultivators that are leading the charge to lower medical marijuana prices in Ohio. With a variety of new processed products making their way to dispensary shelves, lower pricing being observed throughout the state, and more widespread access to medical marijuana with new dispensaries opening, Ohio's program is making steady progress toward being a respectable program that works for patients.

Dispensary Ribbon Cutting

Ohio Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Ohio Valley Natural Relief became the first licensed dispensary to open their doors to patients in January of 2019. Since that time, a total of 25 different dispensaries have been approved to begin operations across Ohio.


Northern-Ohio currently hosts the largest number of dispensaries that are currently operational:

Eastern-Ohio has also had a number of dispensaries that became operational:

Southwest-Ohio has finally seen a number of dispensaries opening in areas across the region:

Southeast-Ohio have nearly all of the proposed dispensary locations now open:

Note: This is a stock image of cannabis. This is not medical marijuana from an Ohio dispensary.

Ohio Dispensary Prices

Prices for marijuana products have been steadily dropping since the program first came online in January. Flower at Ohio dispensaries is sold in a 2.83 gram package ("The Ohio Tenth") and you'll find pricing as low as $18, and as high as $60. Shortly after the opening of Ohio's first dispensary, patients were reporting that the price for a majority of strains were excessive, and they were reluctant to buy product from dispensaries. However, with prices steadily dropping, we expect to see more reasonable pricing across the board in the coming months.


While dispensaries ultimately have final control over the pricing of medical marijuana products, there are select dispensaries and cultivators currently leading the charge to lower medical marijuana prices across the board! There are dispensaries, such as Pure Ohio Wellness,that have a daily $18 tenth special, while cultivators like Buckeye Relief and Cresco Labs have introduced larger quantities of flower for as low as $120 for a half-ounce (14.15 grams), and Cresco even has a half ounce of shake available for as low as $75.


Due to the lack of processors currently operating in Ohio, the price of processed products has been prohibitively expensive for many patients thus far. Grow Ohio was the first processor to reach dispensary shelves, and Standard Wellness followed right behind them in introducing their first processed products. Wellspring Fields, Cure Ohio, and Buckeye Relief recently introduced their first processed products, with the newest processors coming online recently: One Orijin and Beneleaves.


As the competition increases in the processed product market, we can expect to see prices steadily drop to better reflect the pricing found in other state-approved medical marijuana programs. It may be difficult to see the other side, but following the pricing of flower we have seen steady drops of strains that were once priced at $40-$50 a tenth to now being available for $18-$35 just in these past couple of months. If these prices continue to drop, Ohio's pricing will compare to programs that have been running for years and have already worked through these challenges.


Greater Variety of Marijuana Products Coming Soon

Many patients prefer to use processed products in comparison to vaporizing flower. The lack of processors, and subsequently products, has created an environment of high prices and lack of choice for patients. In Ohio dispensaries the processed products that are currently available include tinctures, edible gummies, kief, concentrated oil syringes including concentrated vape cartridges, and concentrated waxes.


Standard Wellness announced a voluntary recall over concerns of product contamination. While there were no reports of sickness - or adverse effects - to the product, the recall was announced out of an abundance of caution and for the protection of patients' health. The voluntary recall shows the proactive commitment of cannabis companies in Ohio to provide only the highest-quality products.


The news of Standard Wellness' recall comes at the same time as one of the most requested cannabis products are becoming available at Ohio dispensaries: concentrated vape cartridges! Currently, Standard Wellness, Firelands Scientific, Buckeye Relief, and Cure Ohio are producing cartridges.


Furthermore, we have many patients that do not feel comfortable with vaporization and therefore have been waiting on a wider variety of process products - namely CBD-dominant products that do not elicit the psychoactive effects associated with the THC-dominant products currently available. There are now a number of processed products that are dominant in CBD!


Medical Marijuana in Ohio

Looking Ahead to 2020

As 2019 continues to progress, we optimistically look towards 2020 as being the official launch of Ohio's "fully operational" medical marijuana program. By next year, we anticipate that almost all of the approved dispensaries will be operational, and that nearly all cultivators and processors with products on dispensary shelves.


And always remember, at Ohio Marijuana Card we are here to help. We know that there is a lot of progress still to be made, and that in the past the program has been slow moving, but we are finally seeing the program accelerate at a pace that was expected - even though it has taken longer than we had hoped.


Nonetheless, the dispensaries, cultivators, processors, and marijuana doctor clinics are all working together to ensure that this program works for all qualifying patients in Ohio seeking treatment with medical marijuana.


Ohio Marijuana Card

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.


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