UPDATED 8:23 AM PT — Friday, January 17, 2019
After months of delays, four dispensaries around the state of Ohio have officially begun selling medical marijuana to patients. The program was supposed to launch in September of 2018, but was postponed in order for cultivating and dispensing permits to be finalized.
Ynez Henningsen was the first people to buy medical marijuana in Ohio. Henningsen has multiple sclerosis and is looking to treat her symptoms.
“I feel like this is a game changer, you know, not just for me, but for all of Ohio patients, because now for the first time, in this state, you can purchase cannabis and know exactly what you’re getting,” she explained.
Ohio’s medical marijuana law passed in 2016 and was signed into law by then-Governor John Kasich. It authorizes the use of cannabis for patients with any of 21 specific conditions, including Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. All patients will have to register with the State Board of Pharmacy, and get a recommendation from a physician.
According to Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP), 8.7 pounds of marijuana were sold on the very first day of sales. This generated roughly $75,000 in revenue.
Nearly 60 medical marijuana dispensaries will eventually open statewide. Along with revenue, experts hope medical marijuana will help with the opioid crisis as Ohio has some of the nation’s highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths in the nation.