Medical Marijuana Is Booming in OK, Struggles in OH


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 4:15 p.m. ET

Medical marijuana is a hit in Ohio since it allowed it in 2016. Recreational cannabis is still not allowed. Notably, data has shown that Ohio’s medical cannabis industry is booming since it started in 2019. However, the medical cannabis industry is facing some setbacks as well. So, let’s take a look at it.

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Ohio and Oklahoma’s markets are booming

A quarterly survey by Marijuana Business Daily showed that Ohio is the third-fastest-growing medical marijuana market in the US. Also, it’s in close competition with mature medical weed markets like Illinois, New Jersey, and New York. Fox Business reported that Ohio has about 282 patients per day. So, this is about 0.4% of the state population.

Currently, 33 states and the District of Columbia allow cannabis. Right now, the top medical cannabis market is in Oklahoma. The state has about 641 patients per day. Recently, the state updated its medical cannabis laws. Currently, Oklahomans don’t need to have a qualifying condition to get medical cannabis. This gives the state’s medical market a huge edge. To know more, read Medical Cannabis: New State Law in Oklahoma.

Medical marijuana laws in Ohio

Ohio marijuana laws are a little unclear. The state only allows patients to use doctor-prescribed medical cannabis if they have one of 21 qualifying conditions. A few of these are cancer, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and chronic or severe pain.

Recently, the State Medical Board of Ohio refused to add anxiety disorders and the autism spectrum in Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program. To know more, read Medical Marijuana Faces Setback in Ohio. Furthermore, patients must register to purchase, possess, and use medicinal cannabis with the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. Also, patients can have up to a 90-day supply of medical marijuana.

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However, since medical cannabis benefits became clear, the industry is booming. Additionally, various research and surveys have shown medical marijuana could treat chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and multiple sclerosis to an extent. Moreover, CBD-based products could treat epilepsy in some cases.

CURLF, ACB, and CGC cash in on the medical market

The cannabis players are taking advantage of this opportunity. They’ve expanded their medical marijuana business. Earlier, we discussed how Curaleaf (CURLF) is interested in Ohio’s medical cannabis industry. Recently, the company went into a definitive deal for an option to buy Ohio Grown Therapies’ licenses for the cultivation and processing of medical marijuana in Ohio.

Aurora Cannabis’ (ACB) Canadian and international medical marijuana business grew in the fourth quarter of 2019. Also, kilograms of medical cannabis produced rose 86% quarter-over-quarter for ACB. Additionally, the company plans to expand its medical and recreational cannabis business. Also, ACB will grow revenue with various acquisitions. Notably, ACB stock suffered because of lower revenue numbers. Soon, the company will report its first-quarter fiscal 2020 results. To know more, read Aurora Cannabis’s Revenue: Here’s What Analysts Expect.

Furthermore, Canopy Growth (CGC) (WEED) saw revenue growth from both its Canadian and international medical channels in first-quarter 2020. So, if you are wondering how to invest in canopy growth stock and other cannabis stocks, read Cannabis Investment: How to Buy ACB, CGC, and Others.

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Ohio’s medical marijuana industry faces challenges

Notably, despite the boom in the industry, medical cannabis is facing issues in Ohio. A Dayton Daily News article on October 2 said that Ohio’s strictly regulated medical program makes it hard for patients to get access. According to a recent survey, 67% are dissatisfied with the program. Around 87% said that they would prefer buying illegally if prices were similar to a legal store.

Dennis Cauchon, founder of the nonprofit Harm Reduction Ohio, said, “The Ohio regulated, legal marijuana market cannot compete with the highly sophisticated illegal marijuana market. The problem ultimately is the regulations. The regulations are the worst in the country in Ohio.” Once again the illegal cannabis market poses problems. Unfortunately, this is the same situation in Canada, which allows all cannabis.

Survey shows Ohioans aren’t satisfied

On September 17, per a Marijuana Business Daily report, a survey found that Ohio’s medical marijuana cardholders find it expensive to obtain the card. Also, there are other problems patients are facing:

  • Higher costs of medical weed products.
  • Distance to the legal and nearest store.
  • Obtaining a doctor’s recommendation for a medical card.

As of September 17, Ohio has 52,000 patients registered to obtain medical marijuana. However, if the state doesn’t take care these concerns, it won’t be able to benefit from the rising medical cannabis industry.


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