Ohio Increasing The Number Of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The state will soon more than double the number of medical marijuana dispensaries. And it’s also changing the process for granting licenses for dispensaries.

The lobby of a medical cannabis dispensary.
The lobby of a medical cannabis dispensary owned by Harvest. [Courtesy Harvest, Inc.]
Businesses can apply for 73 new dispensary licenses, bringing the total allowed to 130 statewide.

The new licenses will be awarded through a lottery process after dispensaries meet the requirements, instead of scoring them individually.

“And we feel like that will result in a fairer, more streamlined, award process,” Cameron McNamee of the Ohio Board of Pharmacy said.

McNamee hopes it will also cut down in the number of lawsuits over the process too.

The board awarded 57 dispensary licenses in 2018. Five of those still haven’t opened, including the dispensary in Athens owned by Harvest of Ohio, LLC.

There are almost 93,000 licensed medical marijuana patients in Ohio right now. Many of them have complained about high prices or long commutes to dispensaries.

It’s hoped these changes will help alleviate some of those problems.