We’re officially here, the day has arrived! Delay after delay, missed deadline after missed deadline, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Program crossed a monumental milestone of opening a few dispensaries! And it’s about damn time. Patient emotions tempered between angst, annoyance and excitement over the last couple months but now the future is trending in positive direction.
Need Medicine Now?
We march to the mantra of #NoMorePills so yesterday was an exciting day for us. Many of our patients were able to get the medical cannabis they need to start their recovery journey by leveraging this safe, all-natural alternative.
The state has awarded 56 dispensary licenses. Here’s the first 5 dispensaries that opened yesterday:
- The Botanist, 3840 Greentree Ave. NW, Canton
- The Botanist, 30133 Euclid Ave., Wickliffe
- The Forest Sandusky, 1651 Tiffin Ave., Sandusky
- CY+, 180 Main St., Wintersville
- Ohio Valley Natural Relief, 840 Canton Rd., Wintersville
Contact any of the listed dispensaries of above to inquire about process, inventory or general questions. Another 10-15 dispensaries will be opening up within the next six weeks throughout Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati for those whose are located in/around the large Ohio cities. Remember: Pills Kill. Marijuana Heals.
What to Expect on the Purchase Journey
With all the buzz and excitement surrounding the opening of dispensaries, people flocked in droves to one of the locations to be one of the first Ohioans to purchase medical marijuana.
Several of our patients made the 2.5 hour trek from Columbus to Wintersville to be one of the first medical patients to access a dispensary. They arrived 30 minutes after the dispensary opened their doors and the line was already 50 patients strong. A tent was set-up in an attempt to expedite the purchase process where the employees wrote down your Medical Marijuana ID # and Driver’s License or Passport #. Once completed, a number was handed to you (much like a deli counter at Kroger!) and you hopped in line.
The dispensary was permitting groups of 5 to enter the intake room (where they validated your credentials) then the system of entering was ‘one out, one in.” After a painstakingly long wait of 2 hours, our patients made it inside the dispensary where all of the product is held. Much to their delight, the experience was much better than expected. “The Patient Consultants were very compassionate, consultative and prescriptive. They took time to learn about my conditions, concerns and preferences,” said Andrew M, an Ohio Green Team patient. He continued, “It wasn’t a free for all in there, in fact it was quite the opposite. Each Patient Consultant had a very warm one-to-one interaction.”
Cannabis and dispensaries still carry a negative stigma. Fortunately for Ohio, it appears several dispensaries are breaking from what was formerly viewed as ‘sketchy and grungy.’ Justin, also an Ohio Green Team patient said, “the dispensary was extremely modern, clean, open and airy. It very much felt like an Apple Store!” If all 56 dispensaries carry this design trend, Ohio is poised to lead change in breaking the stigma.
As expected, inventory was fairly sparse (see menu image) and overpriced as compared to other medicinal states. This particular dispensary only offered flowers and accessories. All told there were seven strains: three Hybrids, two Sativas, one Indica and one CBD. By law, this must be ‘vaped’ but we don’t anticipate many folks following such silly legality. Another thing to note was the weight and price of the flowers. Listed at 2.83 grams, this falls .67 grams short of a standard eighth (3.5 grams) and is priced at $50. Also, the naming convention is a bit odd. In Ohio, standard names such as Sour Diesel, Gorilla Glue and OG Kush won’t be found in Ohio dispensaries as the medical marijuana program required different names. Justin explains, “You won’t be able to find Ohio strains on Leafly because they’re totally made up. However, on the package you’ll see specific strain derivatives which you can definitely research to determine potential effects.”
The Future is Green
While the Medical Marijuana Program has several kinks to work out, we’re moving in the right directions. We’re currently working through supply chain and supply/demand issues. When cultivators harvest more plants, more testing labs operationalize, processors gain steady access to plant to generate approved products, inventory at dispensaries will increase and pricing will normalize.