Ohio’s Legal Marijuana Market Will Triple in 2023; Efforts To Legalize Recreational Cannabis Continue!
In the previous year, there was a 20% increase in the number of Ohioans consuming medical marijuana legitimately on the state-regulated market. According to data from the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, that translates to 163,000 registered patients who are actively purchasing cannabis, or roughly 30,000 more persons than at the beginning of 2021.
Additionally, in May, more than 70 provisional dispensary licenses were granted, more than tripling the state’s total number of dispensaries. The Landing dispensary in Cleveland’s South Flats neighborhood opened its doors in December. Although there has been a lot of activity, Firelands Scientific CEO Jeff McCourt noted that the company is pleased to have “The Landing” in Cleveland.
This is the neighborhood’s premier dispensary. As part of the second batch of licenses granted by the state, The Landing is the first dispensary to open. Click here to get a list of all the places granted a temporary dispensary license. People who are patients or considering becoming patients are discovering many more entry channels because there has been a major bottleneck in terms of retail access, according to McCourt.
House Bill 523 established the Ohio Medicinal Marijuana Control Program in 2016, and the first medical marijuana sales occurred in January 2019. Only four dispensaries were authorized to offer medical marijuana to patients on the first day of sales. Since then, the state has reportedly seen sales of $1.13 billion, with an average weekly product sales volume of $10 million.
Will Marijuana Be Legal for Recreational Use in 2023?
Tom Haren, an attorney, said that the issue is how to legalize marijuana for all adults, not if it would be authorized for everyone. Haren is the spokesperson for the “Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol,” a campaign that seeks to legalize marijuana for recreational use for all residents of the state who are at least 21 years old.
It will be an alternative to the unregulated market and will be safe, tested, and taxed, according to Haren. According to Tom Haren, a 10% tax could bring in somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 million annually for the state.
The coalition gave lawmakers in Columbus a proposal for an initiative, and Haren said there are plans in place to gather enough signatures to place the proposal on the November ballot if the legislature doesn’t approve it by the spring.
Which States Have Marijuana Legalization Laws?
This initiated bill, not a constitutional amendment, would amend the Ohio Revised Code to make marijuana legal and regulated for all adults 21 and older. Additionally, it would permit the growth and possession of up to 2.5 ounces. This is in addition to two Columbus pieces of legislation with a similar purpose that had their first hearings in December.
Rep. Jamie Callender (R-Concord) said: “We’ve also seen through the medical program that there are a number of really genuine uses for marijuana as a home medicine.” Callender testified in favor of a bill called House Bill 498 that would expand Ohio’s current medical marijuana program to cover adult non-medical usage.
For more than a year, he and state representative Ron Ferguson (R-Wintersville) awaited a hearing. Rep. Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) stated, “For recreational weed to have storefronts on every corner, it just — it’s not a healthy precedent.” “I believe that recreational has more drawbacks than advantages.” The principal sponsor of a bill identical to this one, House Bill 628, Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson), predicted that there would be a lot of energy in the upcoming months.
Jeff McCourt, who is currently back at The Landing, told News 5 that they are still concentrating on the medicinal marijuana that is directly in front of them. He predicts that as additional dispensaries enter the market in 2023, pricing for patients will decrease. In the upcoming year, there will be a “very tremendous expansion,” he predicted.