Ohio has almost 13,000 residents who can legally buy medicinal marijuana, the state's pharmacy board announced yesterday.
The state's patient registry launched Dec. 3. Between that time and yesterday, 12,873 people have applied and been granted a card allowing them to purchase medicinal marijuana from the state's five licensed dispensaries, which have sold almost 70 pounds of marijuana.
As our sister publication the Cleveland Scene reports here, those sales have netted more than $500,000 since the dispensaries opened Jan. 16. Because the state's 38 processing facilities aren't open yet, only dried marijuana for vaporization is available, with oils and edibles still on the horizon. At least a few of the processors are slated to open next month, the state says.
The state's medicinal marijuana system was supposed to be operational by last September, but the process saw a number of road bumps, including legal challenges from some businesses that applied to grow or dispense medicinal marijuana.
Delays seem likely to continue. Fewer than half the 374 doctors licensed to prescribe medicinal marijuana have done so, the pharmacy board reports, and only two of the state's five chosen testing sites are operational.
Another 4,200 patients are awaiting certification, according to the pharmacy board. There are more than 20 medical conditions that can qualify a person for a card, but the vast majority of those already licensed in Ohio, almost 11,000 people, have chronic pain that cannot be treated by other means. Only about a third of those receiving the cards in Ohio are under the age of 40. Almost half are over the age of 50.