A Guide to Saving Money on Medical Marijuana at Ohio Dispensaries

Nearly a quarter of a million patients are signed up with the Ohio Medical Marijuana Registry, and those with a valid Ohio marijuana card have legal access to an enormous variety of cannabis products to fit every preference, lifestyle and treatment plan. 


With 25 conditions qualifying for treatment with medical marijuana in Ohio, it’s easy to get your card. You can make an appointment to see a medical marijuana doctor online or in person; and physician referral providers like Ohio Marijuana Card simplify the process and offer affordable marijuana certifications.

Why, then, are only about half of the patients registered for medical marijuana in Ohio actively participating in the program? And why aren’t more Ohio residents signing up to get access to safe, legal cannabis products that can help them treat their symptoms? 


One of the biggest complaints from Ohio’s patients is the cost of buying medical marijuana at state licensed dispensaries. In a survey conducted by Ohio Marijuana Card, “Lower product prices at dispensaries” was the top response for aspects participants would change about the state’s program. 

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Understanding Medical Marijuana Pricing Empowers Patients to Make Treatment With Cannabis Affordable

Though the cost of medical marijuana products in Ohio may make natural relief feel unattainable for many, we at Ohio Marijuana Card think that everyone with a qualifying condition should be empowered to take control of their treatment plan. It is our hope that patients will use this guide to Ohio medical marijuana dispensary prices to make buying cannabis more affordable.


Download PDF of Ohio Dispensary Savings Guide Here!

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We know that most patients are not particularly interested in knowing why medical marijuana in Ohio is so expensive. Many are tired of feeling like they are being fed excuses for corporate greed. However, we feel that understanding some of the components of medical marijuana pricing in Ohio may help patients know what to look for when they shop, and when prices are likely to come down.


In addition to the licensing and regulatory practices in Ohio driving prices up, Federal laws make it difficult and prohibitively expensive to break into cannabis. 

Banks Risk Getting Penalized for Working With Marijuana Businesses

Not only is it difficult to find banks that will open accounts for marijuana businesses, but financing is nearly impossible to obtain. This means that many businesses must have all startup money up front.

Insurance Companies Don’t Generally Cover Marijuana

Even when businesses find insurance companies to cover their losses, marijuana plants themselves are not part of the plan. The most devastating example of the loss that marijuana cultivators risk is in the 2020 West Coast wildfires. Thousands of acres of marijuana burned right at harvest time, and most of the losses were not covered.

Marijuana Business Expenses are Not Tax Deductible

Because marijuana (even medical marijuana) is still Federally classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, businesses cannot deduct their expenses when paying taxes. This means that all income is taxable, costing marijuana businesses millions of dollars in revenue.

Application Cost for Licensing

Before a medical marijuana business in Ohio can even begin to commence operations, it must be approved for licensing. The application fees range between $2,000 and $20,000.

Supply and Demand - 3.5 Ounces Per Patient, Per Harvest

Thirty-five licensed Ohio cultivators are authorized to grow on a combined total of 545,000 square feet of space. If we use the figures presented in this publication from the Rand Drug Policy Research Center, each marijuana plant needs about 9 feet of growing space and will yield 215 grams. 


If we only calculate supply for the 130,000 currently active participants in the Ohio medical marijuana program without considering those who have a marijuana card but are not purchasing, the potential yield is a mere 3.5 ounces per patient, per harvest. 


Add this to the fact that each Ohio cannabis dispensary serves approximately 6,000 patients. Compare this to Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program, in which there is a dispensary for every 185 patients, and it’s easy to see the challenges in managing supply and demand for Ohio patients.

Lack of Competition

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy originally only authorized 57 cannabis dispensary licenses to be issued. While the majority of Ohio patients live within a half hour of their nearest dispensary, some patients are driving an hour or more to get their medicine. Even major metropolitan areas like Cleveland have only two dispensaries serving the entire population.

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There are some changes in the works that will soon bring cannabis prices at Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries down in the future. At the Federal level, the SAFE Banking Act has been running through Congress since 2019, and every year it seems to get closer to passage. This bill would make it possible for banks to work with legitimate cannabis businesses without risk of Federal punitive action.


When marijuana businesses can work with banks without the extra expense of being high risk, the cost of business goes down. An added bonus for patients would be the ability to use debit cards to make purchases, rather than having to deal with the cash-only policies right now. (There’s nothing like the frustration of getting to the dispensary only to realize you forgot to bring cash, then paying $8 to use the in-house ATM.)

The SAFE Banking Act could take a year or more to enact, but changes coming at the State level are happening much faster. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy has approved 73 more dispensary licenses, bringing the total number of dispensaries in the state to 130. This will cut the number of patients each dispensary in Ohio serves by more than half.

Additionally, as of September, 2021, the Ohio Department of Commerce began allowing its current cultivators to request licensing that would triple their growing space. Cultivators that were authorized to grow up to 25,000 square feet of cannabis will be licensed to grow 75,000 square feet of cannabis, and those licensed for 3,000 square feet can expand to 9,000 square feet upon approval from the department.


Here’s the thing about the price of medical marijuana in Ohio: Sure, it’s still kind of expensive. But current prices are about half of what they were in the beginning. When dispensaries first opened in 2019, the average cost of an ounce of medical marijuana flower was more than $500. Vape cartridges cost upwards of $120 for a half gram at the time. 


It’s easy to see why patients balked at the price, and some decided to not bother with such a bougie product. Especially when most people who were quick to get their medical cards were already medicating with the marijuana they bought for far less on the legacy market (also referred to as the black market or illicit market). These outrageous prices from the early days of the Ohio medical marijuana program have contributed to a perception that medical marijuana is still financially unattainable. 


The good news is that the regular price of medical marijuana has dropped by half or more since 2019. 

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At this point, medical marijuana prices are comparable to—or even lower than in some cases—black market marijuana prices. According to PriceOfWeed.Com, the price of an ounce of marijuana flower on the black market in Ohio ranges between $200 and $430. 


When you add to that the potential court costs and legal repercussions if you get caught with illegal marijuana, the current cost of medical marijuana seems to be a bargain. 

Many cannabis enthusiasts who also qualify for an Ohio marijuana card simply believe that there is no point in getting a card when they can just buy marijuana from their local supplier. They may even enjoy home delivery and lively social interaction every time they make a purchase. 


And while some may be able to find lower prices through their friends and family, they are missing out on the amazing quality and variety found at Ohio dispensaries. Some of the benefits of getting your marijuana card and buying medical marijuana in a dispensary include:

No more looking over your shoulder or in the rear-view mirror when you purchase medical marijuana at an Ohio dispensary! Buying medical marijuana at licensed dispensaries is completely legal when you have a medical marijuana card. You don’t even have to worry if you’re pulled over as long as you are not intoxicated, you are not using marijuana while driving, and your products are being stored safely out of reach.

When you buy marijuana from an unlicensed supplier, your choices are usually limited. Most of the time, there is no guarantee of strain, purity, potency or quality, and there is always the risk of buying marijuana products that are tainted with dangerous chemicals (or even fentanyl) due to unregulated practices. 


Visiting an Ohio medical marijuana dispensary, on the other hand, may make you feel a bit like a kid in a candy store. There are hundreds of products at most dispensaries, in a wide variety of forms and strains. Not only will you find marijuana flower and vape cartridges, but you’ll also be able to select medical marijuana tinctures, edibles and beverages, topicals, and extracts like live resin, rosin, wax, and more. 


Every product is labeled to include important information like THC and CBD content, terpenes, harvest and expiration dates, and the lab where it was tested. And you can be assured that your cannabis does not contain harmful pesticides, fertilizers or other dangerous toxins.

The medical marijuana sold at Ohio dispensaries is heavily regulated for quality and labeling transparency. Cultivators and processors are selected based on their ability to create consistent, high quality marijuana products that meet the medicinal needs and therapeutic expectations of patients.

Just because you enjoy taking your medicine, doesn’t mean that your medicine shouldn’t have therapeutic value. Cannabis has innumerable health benefits, which is why it has been approved as medicine in Ohio. The availability of hundreds of products in a variety of strains gives Ohio medical marijuana patients the opportunity to find products in the right form, with the right combination of cannabinoids and terpenes, to address their specific needs. 


Check out the following resources to begin learning what you need to know in order to choose the right cannabis strains and products to meet your needs: 

Ohio Marijuana Card’s Guide to Cannabinoids

Ohio Marijuana Card’s Guide to Common Terpenes Found in Medical Marijuana 

Ohio Marijuana Card’s Guide to Medical Marijuana Forms at Ohio Dispensaries

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Medical marijuana may seem expensive when paying full retail prices. However, patients participating in the Ohio medical marijuana program can get discounts at cannabis dispensaries in a number of ways.

Finding Discounts at Ohio Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

If you’re vigilant about deals and specials, you rarely have to pay full price for cannabis products in Ohio. Keep an eye on our Ohio Dispensary Prices page to find monthly updates on sales at dispensaries, patient education days, and marijuana product promotions. 


Taking advantage of regularly-scheduled discounts can save you hundreds of dollars on medical marijuana products, providing natural relief for your body and mind … and your wallet.

Medical Marijuana Discounts for Veterans and People Qualifying for Indigent Status

Ohio legislators got it right when they recognized that everyone deserves access to the healing benefits of cannabis, regardless of income. That’s why they built in discounts to make affordable medical marijuana cards available, and to allow Ohio dispensaries to extend automatic discounts on medical marijuana products to those who qualify. 


Most Ohio dispensaries offer veterans and those who qualify for indigent status a regular discount of up to 30% off the price of their medical marijuana purchase. If you are a US veteran or living solely on your SSI or Disability Income, visit our dispensary discounts page to learn more about how to register your Veteran or Indigent status with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy for medical marijuana discounts


Once you are approved, you’ll get a discounted medical marijuana evaluation, as well as lowered prices at Ohio cannabis dispensaries.

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In addition to finding discounts at dispensaries, you can stretch your medical marijuana budget by making the most of your cannabis purchases in a number of ways. Check out these tips on how to make the most of your medical marijuana and keep treatment with cannabis affordable.

Make Sure You are Storing Your Medical Marijuana Products Properly

Storing your medical marijuana properly will ensure that the product stays fresh until you use the last of it. Different forms will require different storage techniques, but it will be worth the extra effort when your medical marijuana is just as potent in the end as it was in the beginning.

Make Sure You are Storing Your Medical Marijuana Products Properly

Marijuana flower is one of the more delicate forms of cannabis when it comes to potency breaking down over time. Flower can dry out, and terpenes can dissipate quickly when exposed to too much air. It can also be subject to mold if there is too much moisture.

If you’ve got a little extra cash to spend, you might consider investing in a Cannador system that provides airtight storage with just the right level of humidity. However, simply making sure your marijuana flower is sealed in an airtight container that is kept in a cool, dark place, is sufficient in most cases.

Storing Vape Cartridges

Vape cartridges are easier to store because they are already sealed away from exposure to the air. The main thing to remember when storing your vape cart is that it should always remain upright and be kept out of light and extreme heat. Vape cartridges hold up in the cold, but they should not be frozen.

Storing Medical Marijuana Tinctures

Medical marijuana tinctures are the most shelf-stable of all the cannabis products out there. It can last for a year or more with little to no degradation. Simply keep it in the airtight container you purchased it in and you should be good to go. You can keep your tincture in the refrigerator if you prefer, but it generally isn’t necessary.

Storing Edibles

Making sure you store your medical marijuana edibles properly will make all the difference in maintaining potency until the last bite. Cannabis-infused cooking oils will last the longest out of any edible products, and you can freeze them for even longer storage. 


Gummies and candies—like chocolates and mints—should be sealed away in an airtight container, out of light and in a cool place (but not the freezer). The same goes for baked goods, except with one caveat. They need to be eaten within a relatively short period of time to avoid mold or excessive drying.

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Storing Marijuana Concentrates and Extracts

A silicone container is sufficient enough for short term storage of cannabis concentrates. Just make sure it is kept away from high temperatures. For longer storage, you can wrap your concentrate in parchment paper, place it in an airtight container, then seal that in an airtight bag. There are also techniques to freeze your concentrate, but you need to be careful to avoid moisture because condensation can ruin your dabs.

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Avoid Building a Tolerance to Marijuana

When you use cannabis regularly, you might build up a tolerance to your medicine, meaning you need more of it to get the same results. This can get expensive quickly. If you find that your medical marijuana is not quite packing the same punch as it used to, try making some adjustments to your routine to help strengthen the effects.

Take the Smallest Dose You Need to Get Results

We tell all our patients to start low and go slow when it comes to using medical marijuana. To make sure you continue to see the same benefits from your medicine without building up a tolerance, always take the minimum amount you need in order to get the desired effects.

Consider Taking a T-break

A tolerance break from marijuana can make all the receptors that interact with cannabis more, well, receptive again. Tolerance breaks don’t have to mean that you completely stop using medical marijuana. You may want to try simply reducing the amount of marijuana you use for a few days to a few weeks first. If you find that you are more sensitive to the effects of cannabis after cutting back for a while, you’re on the right track.

Switch Strains

One of the best things about the variety of medical marijuana available at dispensaries in Ohio is that everyone can find the strain that is perfect for their symptoms. However, using the same strain over and over again may hasten building a tolerance.


You can easily remedy this by using a different strain from time to time. Try finding strains that have a similar terpene profile to your favorite, in order to ensure you’re still getting relief from your symptoms. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find your next favorite medical marijuana strain when you try something new! 

Try a Different Form

Different medical marijuana forms work in different ways within the body. If marijuana flower just isn’t doing it for you anymore, maybe it’s time to give edibles a try.

Buy in Bulk When the Price is Right

You can usually find deals at dispensaries where the more you buy, the more you save. Though there are limits on how much medical marijuana you can buy at one time, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these specials and make your purchases when the price is right.


For example, many dispensaries offer add-ons, meaning you can get a significant discount on certain items after spending a specified amount. Other times, you may find that a medical marijuana brand is discounted at gradually-increasing percentages the more you spend.


Check out our dispensary prices page to find the latest deals on medical marijuana at a dispensary near you. Just make sure you are prepared to properly preserve your stash, to prevent any loss of potency during long term storage.

Use Your Medical Marijuana Products the Right Way

Many people don’t realize how much of their cannabis product is wasted when they don’t use it properly. Vaping or smoking marijuana flower at high temperatures may produce the satisfying effects of a big cloud of smoke, but it burns off the active terpenes and cannabinoids that have medicinal value. The same goes for vape carts.

Inhaled Products Should be Consumed at the Right Temperature

Different cannabinoids and terpenes burn off at different temperatures, and you’ll want to pay attention to the terpenes in your chosen strain to determine the best temperature for your vape device.


Vape cartridge kits that come with the pen (battery) already attached are generally set at the proper temperature for the product. For vape cartridges that are sold separately from the battery, or for dry marijuana flower vaping, you’ll need to make temperature adjustments for yourself. 

Some vape devices come with only two temperature settings. In this case a good rule of thumb is to set your vape to low for terpenes that vaporize at 225℉ or below, and high for terpenes that vaporize above 225℉

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Edibles: Should You Eat First?

The question of whether or not to eat before you take medical marijuana edibles is one of the most common among medical marijuana patients. The answer is that it depends on your experience and your personal tolerance.


If you eat before taking edibles, make sure you aren’t eating something that will inhibit absorption, and don’t overeat.

Tinctures Should be Taken Sublingually

Medical marijuana tinctures are intended to be taken sublingually for maximum effect. This allows the active compounds in your product to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. 


To take a tincture sublingually, simply squeeze the desired dose under your tongue and keep it there for a minimum of 30 seconds. Once you’ve held the tincture there for 30 - 60 seconds, you can go ahead and swallow it.

Apply Topicals to Clean Skin

The active compounds in medical marijuana topicals are absorbed through the skin. When you apply cannabis lotions and balms, make sure your skin is clean to provide the clearest path to absorption. You may even want to take a hot bath or shower to open your pores.


When using a medical marijuana transdermal patch, make sure your skin is free of dirt and oils, and is completely dry before applying.

AVB: You Can Still Get Medicinal Value Out of Your Already Vaped Buds

AVB, or already vaped buds still have medicinal value. You can get the most out of your medical marijuana by repurposing your AVB and using it in a different form. In order to reduce the pungent odor and flavor of AVB, we recommend water curing. 


Keep in mind that since many of the terpenes and cannabinoids have been vaporized already, the effects of your AVB will be different, and likely milder, than the effects of fresh buds. 


Check out this Guide to Using AVB on our blog for instructions on how to properly water cure your already vaped bud. Once you’ve completed this process, your AVB is ready to use in a variety of ways:

Cannabis-Infused Coffee and Tea

It’s easy to infuse your coffee and tea with AVB. Simply sprinkle your water-cured AVB into the filter with your coffee grounds before you brew, or mix it into your favorite tea leaves before steeping.

AVB Tinctures

An AVB tincture is easy to make! Simply place your desired amount of AVB in a mason jar, and cover with high-proof drinking alcohol like Everclear. Don’t use isopropyl alcohol, since this is not intended for consumption. 


Shake the jar vigorously for a minute or so, and repeat daily. Make sure you store it with the lid closed tightly, and your tincture should be ready within one to three weeks.

Cannabutter and Cannaoil

You can use AVB to make cannabutter and cannaoil the same way you would use fresh buds, except you’ll want to skip the decarboxylation process. When your cannabutter or cannaoil are ready, you can use them in baked goods like brownies, salad dressings and more!

Just Eat It!

This might be a novelty experience that you just try once, but you can always sprinkle your AVB onto your food and eat it that way. Mix it into your morning oatmeal, soups, smoothies or anything else you’re curious to try.

This might be a novelty experience that you just try once, but you can always sprinkle your AVB onto your food and eat it that way. Mix it into your morning oatmeal, soups, smoothies or anything else you’re curious to try.

This might be a novelty experience that you just try once, but you can always sprinkle your AVB onto your food and eat it that way. Mix it into your morning oatmeal, soups, smoothies or anything else you’re curious to try.

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Marijuana Flower: Short-Term Relief for Mild to Moderate Symptoms

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Medical marijuana flower is generally the most robust form when it comes to the entourage effect. Minimal processing preserves delicate terpenes, and using a dry vape device with multiple temperature settings can help enhance your experience.


However, the effects of inhaled marijuana forms wear off faster than other forms like edibles and tinctures. This means that you will need to use more product in order to maintain symptom relief on a consistent basis.

Vape Cartridges: Short-Term Relief for Moderate to Severe Symptoms

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The cannabis oils found in medical marijuana vape cartridges are more processed and therefore lose some of the terpenes found in dry flower. However, they generally have a higher concentration of cannabinoids than most flower products at dispensaries. This makes them ideal for addressing more severe symptoms. 


Additionally, live resin cartridges have been processed in a way that preserves more natural components of the marijuana plant. Using a vape device that has multiple temperature settings will help you get the most out of your cart, regardless of whether you are using live resin or other types of vape oil cartridges.

Medical Marijuana Extracts/Concentrates: Short-Term to Medium-Term Relief for Severe Symptoms

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Medical marijuana extracts, also known to some as concentrates, are sometimes just as terpene-rich as medical marijuana flower. Some products are also enhanced with additional terpenes through an infusion or a terpene sauce. 


Medical marijuana extracts come in several different forms, including budder, shatter, sugar, pearls and sauce, and RSO (Rick Simpson Oil). The THC concentration in extracts is generally very high, and they offer powerful relief to medical marijuana patients with the most severe symptoms.


We tell all our patients to start off low and slow when beginning treatment with a new medical marijuana product, and this is especially the case with extracts. RSO comes with THC concentrations around 65mg per dose, which is not something you want to surprise yourself with when trying for the first time.

Medical Marijuana Tinctures: Medium-Term Relief for Mild to Moderate Symptoms

Best for:


Medical marijuana tinctures are a favorite among patients who need more consistent relief throughout the day. They often come with THC:CBD concentrations that maximize therapeutic benefits while minimizing impairment.


Tinctures, when taken sublingually, absorb directly into the bloodstream through the thin tissue under the tongue. Their effects start to kick in within 20 minutes to an hour, and they generally last between two and six hours.


Tinctures are an excellent choice for people living with chronic nausea who prefer not to inhale marijuana into their lungs. Because the active compounds are absorbed under the tongue, rather than through the digestive system as with edibles, they cause minimal to no stomach irritation.

Cannabis-Infused Edibles: Long-Term Relief for Mild to Severe Symptoms

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When medical marijuana edibles first hit the market in Ohio, they were a bit intimidating. Their THC content was too high for people with lower tolerance to marijuana, and it can be a real challenge to get the dosing right due to their prolonged onset of effects.


Edibles now come in lower doses; and many edible products currently available at Ohio dispensaries have a balance of cannabinoids and terpenes that can help minimize unwanted side effects.


Edibles are often effective in treating most of the conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in Ohio, and they offer long-lasting relief from symptoms. People with more severe symptoms will want to take a more potent dose, while patients with milder symptoms will want to opt for a low-dose product.

Medical Marijuana Topicals: Short to Long-Term Relief for Mild to Moderate Symptoms

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Medical marijuana topicals are an excellent option for patients looking to treat their chronic pain conditions without the intoxicating effects. Topicals come in a variety of forms, including lotions and balms for quick relief, and patches for stronger, long-term relief.

Save Money on Medical Marijuana by Using the Right Medical Marijuana Product for Your Symptoms

With a little research, time and effort, Ohio medical marijuana patients can find affordable cannabis prices at dispensaries and take control of their treatment plan! 


Ohio Marijuana Card is working to help you get the natural relief you deserve without breaking the bank. We offer frequent discounts on medical marijuana cards, in addition to discounts for veterans and those who qualify for indigent status; our dispensary prices page includes the latest dispensary discounts and is updated monthly; and we provide resources to help you understand how to make the most of your medical marijuana purchases. 


If you don’t yet have your medical marijuana card in Ohio, there’s no better time than the present to start your natural wellness journey! Give our patient support team a call at (866) 457-5559 to get all your questions answered, or simply make an appointment to see an Ohio medical marijuana doctor online today!


In addition to extensive discounts and resources, we offer unlimited free marijuana doctor follow-up appointments for the 12 months following your evaluation, and you’ll get a refund on the cost of your appointment if you don’t qualify.


Check out How to Get and Ohio Marijuana Card for the list of qualifying conditions and what to expect at your evaluation appointment, and keep an eye on our blog for all the latest information on Ohio medical marijuana.


Don’t forget to check out the Ohio Marijuana Card Blog for all the latest on Medical Marijuana in Ohio!


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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