After a few slow years, Ohio could generate nearly $ 400 million in medical marijuana sales in 2021 – a substantial increase from roughly $ 228 million in product sales last year.
As of July 12, pharmacies had sold more than $ 471 million worth of marijuana products in Ohio during the duration of the medical marijuana control program.
The first marijuana sales began in January 2019. Revenue this year was approximately $ 56 million and in 2020 it was $ 228 million.
Ohio had sales of about $ 187 million by about the middle of this year, according to the state. That gets the market pumping at this rate, with sales of around $ 374 million in 2021.
A spring analysis by Marijuana Business Daily predicts the Ohio market could hit between $ 350 million and $ 425 million this year. And officials at Illinois-based multistate operator Cresco Labs told the publication that they suspect this market could reach $ 400 million in sales.
In fact, the Ohio medical program is slowly taking off and there is potential for even greater revenue in the future.
The state plans to more than double the number of licensed pharmacies to 130, though these facilities won't go online until next year at the earliest.
The state is finalizing the details of its tender, which would-be pharmacy operators will fill out to be considered for one of the finite licenses that are expected to be awarded to qualified applicants through a lottery. The maximum number of pharmacies a company can operate in the state remains at five.
Meanwhile, some Ohio lawmakers are preparing to introduce a law that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state.
This bill has four key components. They provide for decriminalization; Introduction of a 10% excise tax on marijuana; Trade and license protocols; and maintenance of the existing Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. This consumption tax could bring the state revenues in the millions.
The existing Ohio medical pharmacies could serve customers 21 and older immediately. This could potentially be a godsend for businesses in a state with an active black market and high retail costs. Of course, Governor Mike DeWine has traditionally been against marijuana and could potentially veto the law if it were passed without a super majority.
Comparatively high retail costs are inspiring some currently qualified medical patients in Ohio to cross the Michigan state line for marijuana products. While 313,000 patient referrals were made in Ohio, just under 216,000 (69%) actually bought anything through a state licensing agency.
High prices and a lack of access to pharmacies are some of the main reasons why the state wants to increase the number of pharmacies, as it has seriously underestimated the needs of the market. Increasing the number of retail stores could potentially lower prices and increase overall sales.
Here are some other key statistics on the size of the Ohio program as of Monday, July 19:
• 313,052 recommendations
• 215,874 registered patients
• 13,477 veteran patients
• 14,876 needy patients
• 842 patients with terminal diagnosis
• 173,228 unique patients who purchased medical marijuana (as reported to OARRS by licensed pharmacies)
• 23,472 registered nurses
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