The medical marijuana program, run by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy and the Commerce Department, has grown exponentially over the past year. Fully launched in April 2019, the program saw $2.2 million in sales for over 300 pounds of medical marijuana. At that time, only 35,000+ individuals were registered as medical marijuana patients.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a large surge in the amount of medical cannabis being purchased by MMJ cardholders. In February, $7.7 million of medical cannabis was sold. When the pandemic reached its peak in March, sales reached $12.9 million of 1,500 pounds. By the end of the first year, over $133 million and 16,000 pounds of medical marijuana was sold.
In addition to sales, the number of registered MMJ cardholders in Ohio has grown steadily. Today, over 109,000 Ohioans are registered as legal medical marijuana users in the state. Around 7% (over 7,600) patients are veterans and more than 600 individuals are diagnosed with a terminal illness. According to the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System, over 81,000 unique patients purchased medical marijuana in May 2020.
The MMJ program in Ohio appears to be a success for patients, those in the medical marijuana industry, and the state itself. Since the launch of the program, the Ohio Department of Taxation has collected over $3.8 million in sales tax from the sale of medical marijuana. Local entities have collected close to $950,000 in permissive sales tax, but no data is available for a county by county breakdown.
Throughout the state, over 51 dispensaries are in operation. Despite the COVID-19 era, many remain open to serve the needs of their customers and ensure patients receive the medical marijuana they need to live a healthy, happy, pain-free life.
In most recent developments, patients are now permitted to have up to three caregivers. Prior to COVID-19, patients were only permitted one. In addition, patients or their caregivers are now permitted to make orders over the phone and/or online. While dispensaries cannot cold-call customers to ask them to make an order or deliver products to their customers’ homes, dispensaries are permitted by the state to offer contactless curbside pickup.
As the COVID-19 era continues on, The Ohio Board of Pharmacy will continue to relegate how patients can receive their medical marijuana. For the foreseeable future, record sales of medical marijuana are expected across the state.
If you or a loved one suffer from any of the FDA approved qualifying medical conditions, you are eligible to receive your Ohio MMJ medical card. Fortunately, the process is incredibly simple. All you or your loved one need to do is find the location nearest you, complete the assessment, and meet with a doctor who is qualified to prescribe medical marijuana. That’s it! Be sure you wear your mask during your visit and contact us if you have any questions along the way.