The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program released its latest marijuana sale figures on Sunday. From Jan. 16 to Feb. 24, roughly 41 days, $1.2 million worth of marijuana was sold in the state. This averages out to almost four pounds of marijuana sold a day. While the number of dispensaries in Ohio is set to spike in the coming months, marijuana prescriptions from doctors are still sparse.
Currently, 374 physicians have been issued certificates to legally prescribe marijuana to their patients. However, less than half have done so. Even though they have the blessing and approval of the state, there is still very little consensus on the overall effectiveness of medicinal marijuana. There are very few peer-reviewed studies that affirmatively prove marijuana is consistently effective. In addition, as marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug and illegal in the eyes of the federal government, it will still be some time before the average Ohio doctor regularly recommends the controversial drug.
In spite of this, more than 17,000 patients have been granted legal prescriptions for marijuana. The majority of these appear to be coming from clinics, many of which are from out-of-state. In 2019 alone, as many as 60 dispensaries could be opening, should they meet all the necessary requirements.
While these numbers are impressive for Ohio, this is far from the fastest a state has hit $1 million. In 2014, when Colorado’s 24 dispensaries began selling medicinal marijuana, they broke $1 million in sales within the first day. In 2017, Colorado’s total marijuana sales hit $1.49 billion dollars. Of this, they collected roughly $250 million in tax revenues. Many marijuana legalization advocates point to these number as proof of how lucrative marijuana sales can be for Ohio. However, it’s an improper comparison as Colorado, aided by its numerous colleges, already had a built-in and long-established demand for medicinal marijuana. It will be some time before Ohio sees revenues anywhere near these levels.
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Andrew Shirley is a reporter at Battleground State News and The Ohio Star.
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