In order to determine how costs in Ohio actually compare, the Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association (OMCIA) recently conducted a study of state-published pricing data across adjacent states with medical marijuana programs.
After a little more than three years, we discovered that Ohio's pricing for plant material (flower) is $8.89 per gram, considerably less expensive than Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Maryland. The price the patient actually pays, including sales and tax, is the basis for the state's stated figures.
Senate Plan 261 (SB 261), a bill that would consolidate jurisdiction under the Department of Commerce and simplify the Medical Marijuana Control Program, was filed by the state senate last autumn. This measure included two clauses that would significantly expand the amount of space that may be used for production and provide numerous new cultivation licenses to applicants who were first turned down in the very competitive license application process.
Cultivators in the scheme are now permitted to increase their canopy space twice following their first build out. They can ask the state for permission to expand after they have proven they are working at full capacity. Only a third of the thirty-seven growers have registered for the first expansion since October 2021, and twenty-nine of them are now in use.
Cultivators in the scheme are now permitted to increase their canopy space twice following their first build-out. They can ask the state for permission to expand after they have proven they are working at full capacity. Only a third of the thirty-seven growers have registered for the first expansion since October 2021, and twenty-nine of them are now in use.
The executive director of the OMCIA, Matt Close recently commented:
There is a misunderstanding that the legislature needs to award more cultivation space to bring prices down to compete with neighboring states. OMCIA’s research clearly shows that Ohio is already competing with neighboring states. In fact, we are leading. Existing operators already have the ability to expand but many are holding off due to inflation, high construction costs and a flat patient count.
It is important to time expansion carefully to meet patient demand and avoid the oversupply problems experienced by other states. After more than three years Ohio’s program only supports 148,950 active patients and that number is growing at a very slow rate. This is a limited market where patients must have one of 25 severe medical conditions and a physician’s recommendation to qualify for a card. Even then, their purchasing limit is capped at one of the lowest in the country. Overexpansion can lead to oversupply, driving businesses out of business and sending excess medical marijuana into the illicit market.
Given that Ohio's prices are moving in the correct direction, it is obvious that the program has successfully balanced the supply and demand of medical marijuana. The OMCIA is still pleading with the state legislature to scrap SB 261's pointless extra expansion measures in favor of merging the program under the Department of Commerce, a move that would further drive down costs by getting rid of duplicative program monitoring.
Medical Marijuana in Ohio
In June 2016, Ohio's cannabis law was approved, and the state's citizens may now obtain marijuana for medical purposes. Because of this, individuals in Ohio with serious diseases like ALS, PTSD, cancer, and many other qualifying ailments have rapid and simple access to the medication they need.
The state's Department of Public Health is in charge of overseeing the administration of the Ohio medical marijuana rules and regulations, which are administered by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. Qualified patients are now able to legally possess up to 90 days' worth of medicinal marijuana according to House Bill 523.
Another notable restriction is that Ohio patients are not permitted to use medicinal marijuana. Instead, patients can employ cannabis patches, edibles, topical tinctures, CBD oils, or vaporization to take their medication.
Additionally, the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) meets often to consider requests to include new medical conditions on the list of qualifying illnesses.