On Jan. 16, 2019, four medical marijuana dispensaries opened in Ohio, beginning legal sales for patients who had waited for relief that they said they... Ohio medical marijuana one year in: What you need to know about successes, struggles of the state’s program

On Jan. 16, 2019, four medical marijuana dispensaries opened in Ohio, beginning legal sales for patients who had waited for relief that they said they couldn’t get from pharmaceutical drugs.

The program has expanded since then. By Dec. 31, 55,617 Ohioans had made purchases at dispensaries, which now number 48.

They’ve bought a whopping $60.6 million in flower, edibles, oil and other product.

However, growing pains remain.

The program has been slow to develop. It even started behind schedule: The legislature designed the program to be fully operational by Sept. 8, 2018. Yet lawsuits and bureaucratic delays stalled the first dispensaries by four months.

And as dispensaries opened throughout the state, some areas were left without any for months, particularly in Southwest Ohio. As of Wednesday, nine dispensaries hadn’t yet received certificates of operation from the state.

Patients continue to experience sticker shock, although costs dropped from an average $538 an ounce on the first day of sales to $330 an ounce, according to state and industry figures.

This puts Ohio’s average prices below Illinois’ December medical average of $384.68 an ounce. Ohio prices are higher than Michigan’s medical average in December of $306.21 per ounce. [Read more at Cleveland.com]

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