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Medical marijuana patients in Ohio will soon have more dispensaries

 A clerk waits for customers at a marijuana dispensary in Columbus.
Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
A clerk waits for customers at a marijuana dispensary in Columbus.

The number of medical marijuana dispensaries in Ohio will more than double after the Ohio Board of Pharmacy approved 70 new licenses with three more pending review.

Ohio has 58 dispensaries, but after the new licenses were awarded via lottery that number will grow to 131. Some smaller towns that didn’t have dispensaries will now have at least one.

More than 261,000 patients in Ohio are currently registered in the medical marijuana program. About 138,000 of those have an active recommendation from a physician.

Many of those who are registered but do not have an active recommendation say the product is too expensive, or they need to drive long distances to find a retailer. This expansion could help with both of those problems.

There are 25 medical conditions for which Ohioans can obtain medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation.

  • AIDS.
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Cachexia.
  • Cancer.
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Epilepsy or another seizure disorder.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Hepatitis C.
  • Huntington’s disease.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Positive status for HIV.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Sickle cell anemia.
  • Spasticity.
  • Spinal cord disease or injury.
  • Terminal illness.
  • Tourette’s syndrome.
  • Traumatic brain injury.
  • Ulcerative colitis.

Right now, medical marijuana is the only legal way to get the product in the state. An initiated statute effort that could have resulted in a vote on legalizing marijuana to Ohioans over 21 has been shelved for now. Ohio lawmakers will consider it next year, or voters may see it on the ballot next November.
Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.