Report: Ohio’s Medical Cannabis Program Is Falling Short

Ohio medical cannabis sales quadrupled during the pandemic last year but, by the numbers, the state’s total is still far from what was anticipated given the state’s population of over 11 million people.

Full story after the jump.

During the pandemic last year, Ohio quadrupled its 2019 medical cannabis sales, according to a Crain’s Cleveland Business report. However, the report claims the total is still far from the state’s potential and highlights issues such as lacking dispensaries, minimal qualifying conditions, and high retail costs as the main reasons why Ohio’s medical cannabis system has felt so lackluster.

For a state with a population of over 11 million people, Ohio only has 54 licensed dispensaries, according to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.

In a survey conducted in the fall of 2020, 58.4 percent of patients and caregivers in Ohio said the state’s medical cannabis prices are too high, Cleveland.com reports. The high prices were attributed to COVID-19 hoarding behaviors, with long lines at dispensaries kicking off alongside the pandemic last spring.

Despite high prices, the cost of medical cannabis in Ohio is actually fairly average when compared to other Midwest states like Michigan and Illinois, according to Greg McIlvaine of the Ohio Department of Commerce.

“We’re kind of right there in the middle between Michigan and Illinois. We would hope to expect as our market matures, and we continue to get cultivators online and … products, that our prices will start to decline even further from about the $300 per ounce to something closer to $265 per ounce, as in Michigan.” McIlvaine, via Cleveland.com

Ohio’s medical cannabis program currently allows for 22 qualifying conditions — the state added cachexia last year but warned that Autism and other conditions would not be reconsidered until new research was submitted.

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