Ohio’s medical marijuana industry is falling short of potential thus far – Crain’s Cleveland Business

With the industry beginning to mature, and with changes made to how patients can get their cards and buy material during the pandemic, sales of medical marijuana products in the Buckeye State grew nearly four times in 2020 over the inaugural sales year that kicked off in January 2019.

There was about $277 million in sales generated in Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP) between 2019 and 2020. About 80% of that occurred last year.

The first two years of retail sales combined have generated an estimated $19 million in sales tax revenue. The bulk of that comes at a time when state coffers are seeing drops in sales tax collections amid an economy-wracking health crisis.

Millions more in fees have been collected by the Ohio Department of Commerce and Board of Pharmacy since the program’s inception. Those funds are reinvested back into the OMMCP to run the program.

Through Feb. 2, total retail sales were $307.8 million. And as of Jan. 1, there were 214,916 marijuana recommendations made and 160,288 registered patients. About 13% of registered patients have not purchased anything. Nearly 700 doctors now have certifications to recommend marijuana.

Now in its third year for sales, Ohio’s medical marijuana industry is beginning to stretch its legs.

Yet the program is generating proceeds short of its potential, operators say, especially when comparing sales to similar medical
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