On April 19, 2021, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy voted unanimously to issue 73 new dispensary licenses, increasing the state’s current total from 57 to 130. The announcement comes in light of strong demand among state residents for product as well as significant growth in patient population since the inception of the state’s program in late 2018.
Initially, state officials predicted that Ohio’s Program would consist of 12,000 to 24,000 patients in the first two years, equating to approximately 210 to 420 patients per dispensary. Quickly outpacing estimates, the patient population totaled 24,556 just three months after dispensaries opened their doors. Current figures released on March 16, 2021, by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program show that the current patient population is 176,387, which drastically towers over the Program’s initial prediction by 152,387 patients.
The unforeseen increase in patient population coupled with sparsely located dispensaries created an unsustainable market that drove up prices and left many qualified patients without product. The addition of the 57 dispensaries will shore up many issues faced by those operating in the industry as well as better meet patient demand.