The Ohio medical program is expanding, but customers still aren’t happy. Between prices, taxes, doctors, and availability, what changes need to be made in 2023? And how will the patient experience change?

The Ohio medical marijuana program has seen its fair share of ups and downs since its inception in 2018. According to a recent article, the patient population in Ohio is still dissatisfied. A new Ohio State University study showed mixed feelings from the current patient population in Ohio as the program sets to expand in late 2022 – early 2023.

Taxes on Medical Program in Ohio

In the nearly four years that patients have had access to legal medical marijuana, Ohio governments have collected over $132 million in revenue: $64 million in state and local sales taxes, $46 million in marijuana business application and licensing fees and $22 million in patient and caregiver fees, according to the report. The difference in taxing policies from state to state differs drastically, and can have serious economic impacts in patients’ bottom lines.

Medical Marijuana Prices Around the Country

Ohio Medical Program Expanding, COlumbus skyline
Columbus, Ohio.

As the Ohio medical program expands, prices in Ohio are generally cheaper than Pennsylvania, but more than neighboring adult-use Michigan, where it can be purchased for $3.91 a gram – $5.08 a gram less than it costs in Ohio. The report shows the price of a gram of medical marijuana in Ohio cost $8.99 in July, down from $10.85 a year earlier and nearly $17 per gram in February 2019, shortly after the program began.

The number of patients with active marijuana registrations grew by more than 44% over the past 12 months, from 107,132 patients in August 2021 to 154,614 patients in August 2022, the report found.

How to Become a Medical Patient in Ohio

Although patient numbers continue to quickly increase – and are expected to continue as the Ohio medical program expands – the number of physicians with a certificate to recommend medical marijuana decreased between 2021 and 2022 from 651 to 641, according to the report. The report didn’t explain why fewer doctors are certifying. On that matter, greenpass is hoping to bring some welcomed news to the prospective patient population by offering virtual consultations in Ohio starting as early as October 2022 (sign up here for updates). Earlier this year, Governor Mike Dewine permanently extended medical marijuana telemedicine regulations that began during the pandemic, allowing for patients to virtually consult with a physician on the way to obtaining their medical card.

Though the Ohio medical program is expanding by 2023, patient access should increase when the nearly 70 new dispensaries come online after their approval this Summer. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy on May 16 announced 70 new provisional dispensary licenses across the state, after a study showed many Ohioans are traveling far from their homes to get to a dispensary. When the dispensaries open for business, there will be over 130 dispensaries in the state. The dispensaries have until February to build out their space.

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