Earlier this year, Ohio Governor and former Republican presidential candidate John Kasich signed a bill into law that authorized state physicians to prescribe medicinal marijuana to patients affected by a number of health conditions. Ohio has already began looking at ways to revolutionize the way money is transacted in the cannabis industry, as the state is looking to implement a “closed-loop” payment system that would make it easier to track payments between patients and business owners.
There are an number of other reasons why Ohio is slowly transforming into one of the most legitimate marijuana markets in the country. In fact, a recently released preliminary analysis by the national trade publication Marijuana Business Daily shows that Ohio could soon become quite the cash-cow for the cannabis industry. According to their report, Ohio’s medical marijuana program could potentially bring in a whopping $400 million in dispensary sales over the next two or three years. At bare minimum, the cannabis business publication predicts that the state’s dispensaries will bring in at least $200 million in that same time frame.
If the state’s medical marijuana businesses reach their full potential and bring in $400 million, that means, if Ohio decides to apply sales tax to the industry, Ohio would rack up an estimated $23 million in revenue, a number that is certainly nothing to scoff at. Still, these numbers are dependent on the rules and regulations that the state ends up implementing, which will also affect the number of patients who are able to enlist in their medical marijuana program.
Aside from their vast population, another major reason why Ohio is poised to become a leader in the medicinal marijuana market is because of their inclusion of pain as a reason for doctors to recommend to use cannabis. Under the new Ohio law, there are about 20 medical conditions that will enable patients to get a recommendation to self-medicate with marijuana, allowing more leeway than most other states with stricter medical marijuana programs. Other states that include pain as a reason for a medical marijuana recommendation, such as Colorado and Michigan, have shown a sizable influx of people registered in their respective programs.
Ohio’s medical marijuana law will take effect on September 8, but their rules and regulations, such as how many marijuana cultivation and retail licenses will be awarded, won't be known for quite sometime. But, as the analysis shows, the potential is certainly there. Now, it’s up to the state to make sure that their regulations allow for as much revenue and properly treated patients as possible.