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  • Christopher D.

When Will Recreational Marijuana Sales Begin in Ohio?


Ohioans eagerly awaiting legal access to recreational marijuana may not have much longer to wait. According to recent comments from state lawmakers and regulators, adult-use marijuana sales could begin as early as June - much sooner than initially anticipated.


"We could have retailers, recreational licensed retailers, in Ohio by mid-June," Rep. Jamie Callender, who sponsored legislation enacting the state's new marijuana law, told a Cleveland TV station. "We should begin to see legal recreational sales of marijuana in Ohio certainly before July 4th weekend."


That accelerated timeline is welcome news for the millions of Ohio adults looking to take advantage of the marijuana reform measure overwhelmingly approved by voters last November. The law permits individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess and consume marijuana, while also allowing limited home cultivation.


Existing Medical Operators to Quickly Add Recreational Sales

To expedite the rollout of the new adult-use market, Ohio regulators are preparing to initially issue dual licenses to the state's existing medical marijuana operators. This will enable many currently operating dispensaries to immediately begin recreational sales to anyone 21 and over once the program launches.


"The sooner consumers have market access to marijuana products, the more quickly we will begin to see disruptions to the unregulated marketplace," said Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "Retailers provide consumers with the option of obtaining lab-tested products in a safe, regulated environment."


Ohio started granting licenses for its tightly regulated medical marijuana program back in 2018. Today, there are around 60 dispensary locations scattered across the state, in addition to licensed cultivators, processors and testing labs. All are expected to have the opportunity to add dual recreational operations in the initial transition phase.


"We are really excited to bring adult-use sales online as quickly as regulators will allow," said Jeff McCourt, CEO of Firelands Scientific, which operates the Huron, Ohio-based Standard Wellness medical dispensary. "Our team has been preparing for this expansion, and we'll be able to hit the ground running right away."


Why Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card Still Matters  

The commencement of recreational marijuana sales in Ohio heralds a significant milestone, but advocates insist that the state's medical marijuana program remains indispensable for individuals with certified qualifying conditions. 


They emphasize that maintaining legal patient status offers essential benefits that go beyond the straightforward access to dispensaries. The process to secure a medical card begins with a comprehensive evaluation conducted by a state-certified marijuana doctor. This medical professional assesses whether the individual suffers from a qualifying condition, such as cancer, chronic pain, PTSD, or multiple sclerosis. 


Once a patient receives approval, they can proceed to complete their registration, effectively integrating them into Ohio’s tightly regulated medical marijuana system. This registration enables patients to immediately reap the program's benefits, even while they await the arrival of their physical card. 


By ensuring continuity and support through regulated access, Ohio's medical marijuana program provides a structured approach to healthcare that addresses the specific needs of its participants.


A Glimpse at the New Recreational Market Rules  

Along with announcing the expedited timeline, Ohio regulators have also previewed some of the key rules that will govern the new adult-use marijuana market:


  • Sales to adults 21 and over will be subject to a 10% marijuana excise tax on top of standard state sales taxes. Tax revenue will be earmarked for areas like education and substance abuse treatment programs.  

  • In addition to dispensaries, the law permits adult-use cultivators, processors, testing labs, delivery services and other licensed marijuana businesses to operate.

  • Individual adults are permitted to grow up to 6 plants for personal use, with a maximum of 12 plants per household.

  • Marijuana businesses must remain at least 500 feet from schools, churches, public parks, playgrounds and libraries.

  • Dispensaries will offer extended operating hours until 11pm, and have the option for drive-thru lanes, online ordering and curbside pickup.


While some adjustments may still be in the works, the overarching goal is establishing a tightly regulated but reasonably accessible adult-use market alongside the existing medical program.


A Rapidly Evolving Marijuana Landscape Emerges in Ohio

With recreational marijuana sales soon to be underway, Ohio is positioned to transform into a regional marijuana industry hub virtually overnight. It's expected to create thousands of new jobs and business opportunities across cultivation, manufacturing, retail, ancillary services and more.  


"We're witnessing the birth of an entire industry ecosystem in Ohio," said Thomas Walker of the Ohio Cannabis Association. "Everything from real estate to financing, construction, marketing and technology services will all see major growth driven by the new adult-use and medical marijuana markets."


As that economic activity ramps up over the rest of 2024 and beyond, marijuana advocates are already looking ahead to the next phase of policy advancements. Chief among them is establishing a more robust social equity program to ensure full participation from communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition.


The rapidly evolving marijuana landscape is sure to bring further changes in the years ahead. But for now, Ohioans can simply look forward to enjoying their first legal recreational marijuana purchases in just a couple months' time.


Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Today!

Ohio continues to expand its medical marijuana program and make residents’ lives easier by passing new progressive legislation. The addition of new qualifying conditions means that many more people will now be eligible for their medical card.


If you think you could benefit from medical marijuana, there is a good chance you qualify!

You need your medical card to access any of Ohio’s medical dispensaries. Not to worry, because it is now easier than ever to get your card with Ohio Marijuana Card!


In Ohio, there are many conditions that may make you eligible for medical marijuana, and we hope the program continues to expand by adding more conditions soon! If you have questions about whether you qualify, we can help with that too!


In order to visit a dispensary in the State of Ohio, you will need your medical marijuana card. With telemedicine, you can even get your card from the comfort of your own home!


If you don’t already have your card, we can help! You can even have your appointment and recommendation on the same day!


Schedule an appointment with one of our physicians today to see if you qualify.


 

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 the 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!

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