COLUMBUS, Ohio — More medical marijuana dispensaries are coming to Ohio.
What You Need To Know
- The Ohio Board of Pharmacy unanimously voted to increase medical marijuana dispensaries
- The increase will be from 57 to 130 statewide
- All applications for business will have to meet security and legal standards, and will then be entered into a lottery for the chance to operate
On Monday, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy unanimously voted an increase from 57 dispensaries to 130 statewide.
“It's a much needed change” said Tom Heren, a medical marijuana lawyer.
The reasoning for the decision is simply keeping up with demand.
“The program has grown much faster than the regulators anticipated," said Heren. "They thought they would have at most 50,000 patients — two years later, here we are at the beginning of 2021, with 130,000 or so registered patients”
Medical marijuana has been legal in Ohio since 2016, when it joined 36 other states.
“Ohio has actually been a pretty progressive state when it comes to marijuana,” said Heren. “We were one of the first states to decriminalize possession way back in the 1970s.”
Those on the Ohio Pharmacy Board said the new push is to make the plant more accessible to card-holding patients. They found that patients often had to drive long distances or wait in long lines. The new dispensaries will also come with new rules for opening.
All applications for business will have to meet security and legal standards, and will then be entered into a lottery for the chance to operate.
Heren said the new increase is a sign of changing attitudes of a drug that has historically had a bad reputation.
“You look at states like Colorado, California, Oregon, the boogey men haven’t shown up,” Heren said. “You don’t see huge spikes in teen usage; you don’t see the parade of horribles that the prohibitionists told us would come.”
The board’s decision will be finalized and implemented by late May or early June.