The Ohio Board of Pharmacy released its proposed medical marijuana program rules, which stated that 40 dispensaries will be allowed statewide. An expansion of this number may happen after the state reviews the program in late 2018 to evaluate the demand, supply and accessibility of medical marijuana.
Doctors wishing to prescribe medical marijuana to patients must attend a two-hour training course, according to Patch. Doctors that are certified to prescribe medical marijuana cannot have any business interest in a dispensary.
A public comment period is allowed. The state wishes to read the feedback of the residents of Ohio following their reading of the proposed rules for the program. Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is happy with most of the changes that Ohio has made to their revised rules. However, MPP says that there is still a lot of work to do.
Aaron Marshall of MPP said, “The bad news is that dispensary licenses are being limited to 40. You have 4,700 patients per dispensary. That’s far too few dispensaries. We think somewhere in the range of 250 – 300 dispensaries is needed. Ohio should have eight times the number of dispensaries. It’s problematic to have that low number of dispensaries for what we think is a robust patient population.”
Marshall used Arizona and Delaware as examples of proper patient ratios. Arizona averages roughly 777 patients per dispensary and Delaware averages about 497. Marshall said, “Ohio is way off in left field here, unfortunately.”
MPP will be working with the lawmakers in Ohio to properly amend the rules and increase the number of dispensaries allowed.
The dispensary application fee in Ohio is $5,000. If the application is approved, there is an $80,000 certificate of operation fee. Licenses will be valid for two years, after which time, another $80,000 is due. Late renewals result in an additional $10,000 fee.
According to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, more than 40 dispensary applications have already been received and a major deciding factor will be the security score given to the proposed application.