The first year of legal medical marijuana sales in Ohio has come to an end. The volume of sales may be surprising to some, but not those who are already embroiled in the medical marijuana business. According to the state, 46 dispensaries were opened last year with sales totaling about $56 million. This equates to nearly 7,000 pounds of marijuana sold and more than 280,000 products containing marijuana or its derivatives. More than 50,000 individuals bought medical marijuana in some form in 2019, which may seem like a lot, but that leaves nearly 25,000 individuals who are approved to buy medical marijuana who did not make any purchases.
If you have any knowledge of or experience with the medical marijuana industry here in Ohio, then you know that just about every aspect of it is subjected to some type of law, regulation or rule. Cultivators, dispensaries and laboratories must all meet certain state-imposed measures. Failing to do so can result in a business being subjected to penalties that can be so serious as to stop operations altogether. For this reason, medical marijuana businesses need to make sure they know how to stay on the right side of the law and use it to their advantage when allegations of wrongdoing arise.
Given its newness, the medical marijuana industry in Ohio is being heavily regulated, and lawmakers are keeping a close eye on those who have been given licenses and certificates to conduct business in this field. This means that they are quick to act on violations, which could mean stalled business and the revocation of licenses. Therefore, those who work in the medical marijuana field in Ohio need to make sure they are in full compliance with the law.
Given the newness of Ohio's legalization of medical marijuana, a lot of kinks in the system are being worked out. This means that medical marijuana businesses that think they are operating in accordance with the law may find themselves accused of breaking it. This can have tremendous adverse effects on a business, including the imposition of fines, the loss of consumer bases and even mandatory shutdown. With so much at stake, medical marijuana businesses in Ohio need to know how to successfully navigate the various laws and regulations that relate to them.
Although medical marijuana is legal in Ohio and other states across the country, it is heavily regulated to ensure patients are receiving effective and safe products. Therefore, all businesses in the medical marijuana supply chain must adhere to all state laws. Failure to do so can result in serious penalties, including revocation of the licenses or certificates that are necessary to conduct business in this field.
Opening and operating a business is a difficult endeavor and not for the faint of heart. Businessmen or women have to contend with a lot of paperwork in the process of putting up their business and ensuring that the best people are hired as employees. In the medical marijuana industry, however, this process is even more complicated as there are a number of administrative agencies and policies to comply with, from everything to entity creation to employee hiring. Even hiring or firing someone can become a cause to lose one's license, if people are not careful.
Patients suffering from chronic conditions with no respite from pain likely rejoiced the day that medical marijuana was approved in Ohio. Twenty-one conditions were approved initially in Ohio, ranging from cancer, glaucoma, seizures and AIDS to Alzheimer's, Crohn's Disease and Parkinson's disease. New conditions have to be approved by the State Medical Board of Ohio and many readers of this blog may remember the process that was underway during the summer to add to the list.
The first medical marijuana dispensary in Ohio opened in January and seven months in, cardholders are not satisfied with the way the program is operating. According to an online survey that 640 patients responded to, almost 50% stated they were very dissatisfied with the program and only around 4% said they were very satisfied. However, given that there are 52,000 medical marijuana cardholders in the state, it can only be considered an important snapshot of the situation, not a complete picture.
Medical marijuana licenses are strictly controlled in Ohio, making the program different from others in the country. Other states saw applicants submitting great applications and gave them provisional licenses that they would then sell. Ohio is attempting to prevent that from happening here, which is why ownership rules are strictly regulated.
Running a business is difficult enough in today's economic climate, but add to it an ever-changing landscape and it can become even more complicated. The marijuana business is heavily regulated with complex rules that are constantly evolving. Add to that the fact that rules differ from state to state and there is a completely different code of federal laws applicable as well. All this can be complicated for someone trying to run a business in the industry, in an attempt to help ailing individuals get relief from the symptoms from which they suffer.