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Ohio's First Marijuana Expo Brings Dispensaries, Educators to Cleveland

photo of William Kedia
Dr. William Kedia is opening his first dispensary in Garfield Heights next month, with three other locations slated to open by the end of spring. He says matching patients with the right strain of cannabis is crucial to effective treatment.

Medical marijuana advocates and healthcare providers gathered in Cleveland over the weekend for the first Ohio Marijuana Expo.

The expo was organized by Ohio Marijuana Card, a company operating seven clinics in the state – including three in Northeast Ohio -- which can recommend medical marijuana to patients. Company president Connor Shore says the industry has grown slowly since being legalized in 2016. He sees it as “inevitable” that recreational marijuana will be approved in Ohio.

“We’re not actively pushing for it, but I know there’s initiatives that are underway. Our anticipation is that we’ll see a bill passed in the next year or two to implement recreational, ideally. It might be three or four years, and then they’ll probably take another year or two to get it rolled out.”

So far, 10 states and Washington, D.C. have made recreational marijuana legal, while 33 states have legalized the drug for medical purposes. Shore says his company plans additional marijuana expos in Cincinnati and Columbus later this year.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.