As the number of Ohio medical marijuana patients continues to grow, so does the need for more dispensaries. Yesterday, just one day before the unofficial cannabis holiday ‘4/20’, The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy has approved 73 new dispensary licenses to ensure geographic distribution and patient access.
The board initially issued 57 dispensary licenses, while 52 of them are currently operating. The number of dispensaries in the state is based on a variety of factors. The factors include population, the number of patients seeking to use medical marijuana, and the lack of dispensaries in designated dispensary districts.
What does this mean for current Ohio medical marijuana cardholders?
The addition of 73 new dispensaries gives patients in less populated areas the opportunity to have storefronts closer to them which will ensure geographic distribution and more patient access. The board wants to ensure that there are dispensaries available to patients to ensure equal access across all districts. The 3 districts that currently do not have any current operating dispensaries are listed below. These 3 districts will automatically receive at least one dispensary license to meet geographic diversity requirements.
NW District 1 (Williams, Fulton, Defiance)
NW District 2 (Paulding, Van Wert, Mercer)
SW District 3 (Shelby, Miami, Logan)
The Board also analyzed how many prospective patients there are and will be per district to determine the need for the additional 73 dispensaries throughout the state. They will be adding dispensary licenses for every district that exceeds 1,200 patients per dispensary district to bring the number of patients per dispensary below 1,200 registered patients. This will also limit current dispensaries, as they will not be eligible to receive another dispensary license for any region that has less than 1,200 patients per district.
With the addition of more dispensaries, patients can expect not only easier access to their local dispensary, but lower prices and more product variety and availability. Not only is this great news for dispensaries to be able to expand locations, and give new dispensaries the opportunity the chance to put up brick and mortar, but this is also a huge step forward for many cultivators and processors as the demand for medical cannabis is extremely ‘high’ as ever before!
If all 73 licenses are awarded, this will bring the total number of dispensary licenses to 130 (57 current + 73 approved).