Medical marijuana was legalized in Ohio in 2016 and sales only started this year. Figures coming in from the state show that only 15,339 of the patients who hold medical marijuana cards have so far visited a dispensary and purchased medicinal marijuana products. Several factors can explain why just 49 percent of the cardholders have bought medical marijuana.
First, very few medical marijuana dispensaries have opened their doors to patients. Out of 56 dispensary licenses which were issued, just a paltry 15 establishments have started operating. These few dispensaries aren’t evenly distributed across the state, and this may explain why few patients have visited them and bought products.
Secondly, the price of the available products is still too high for many patients. The high prices may be resulting from the limited competition between the few dispensaries which have opened. Additionally, not many growers and processors are currently operating in the state. Prices are expected to reduce as more growers and processors come on board to supply the dispensaries in the state.
The state agencies involved in regulating the medical marijuana program also released other statistics related to the program.
For example, out of the 31,075 patients registered on the medical marijuana program, 171 have a diagnosis for a terminal illness, such as cancer. This could suggest that these people are taking medical marijuana to deal with pain.
The medical marijuana register also has 2,109 people registered as caregivers. Caregivers buy and administer medical cannabis to minors or people whose illness is so severe that they cannot buy and administer the medical marijuana by themselves.
In terms of sales, $5.8 million has been recorded as the revenue earned by medical marijuana businesses in the first four months of 2019. This is way below the potential of the industry since Ohio is ranked 7th in the country in terms of its population and GDP.
In total, 750 pounds of marijuana plant material were sold by the medical cannabis dispensaries in the past four months. 3,610 units of manufactured cannabis products, such as oils and tinctures, were also sold.
Larger volumes of products are expected to be sold as medical marijuana becomes more readily available and as more people qualify for medical cannabis cards after more qualifying conditions were added to the initial list of 21 qualifying conditions.
TransCanna Holdings Inc. (CSE: TCAN) and Therma Bright Inc. (TSX.V: THRM) (OTC: THRBF) encourage all the entities that have received medical cannabis licenses to start operations quickly so that they can contribute to the growth of the medical marijuana industry in Ohio.
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