Medical marijuana access in Ohio expanding
The number of medical marijuana dispensaries in Ohio will grow twofold by next spring.
Driving the news: State officials selected 70 recipients of new marijuana licenses through a lottery last month, more than doubling Ohio's current 58 dispensaries.
Why it matters: More dispensaries mean better access for the 142,000 Ohioans registered with the state's Medical Marijuana Control Program.
- As of May, the program had recorded nearly a billion dollars in total sales.
Zoom in: 17 counties will receive their first dispensary. That includes Delaware County, to be located at 26 Moore St. in Delaware.
- Nine new locations will open in Franklin County, bringing us to 15 total.
What's next: Owners must build spaces in compliance with state laws and regulations before they can open. They have until February 2023 to pass an inspection.
State of play: Ohio lawmakers created the medical marijuana program in 2016, and it went live three years later.
- There is bipartisan support to keep issuing more licenses and drive down consumer costs.
Meanwhile, legalization of recreational marijuana has faced several roadblocks.
- Republican leaders have opposed it and there are steep election hurdles to place the issue before voters.
- Researchers from Ohio State estimate legalization could net the state up to $375 million in annual tax revenue, the Ohio Capital Journal reports.
- Advocates plan to try for the November 2023 ballot, per the AP.
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