A retired government worker and multiple sclerosis patient were among the first patients in Ohio to purchase medical marijuana this morning when some of the state’s first dispensaries opened to the public.
A line began forming outside Cresco Labs’ CY+ Dispensary in Wintersville at 6:30 a.m., where patients camped out in wintry conditions with chairs, blankets and portable heaters. CY+ made its first sale to Joan Caleodis, a retired government worker, at 9 a.m., according to Jason Erkes, a company spokesman.
“She was very excited. There were tears, … hugs and applause when she made her first purchase,” Erkes told Cannabis Dispensary. “She was very happy. She spoke to reporters about how she had been buying this on the black market and going to Colorado and getting it in other places so she would not have to take all the pain medications with bad side effects. This will be life-changing for her.”
A steady flow of patients ensued, and just before noon, the dispensary had already served 75 patients, Erkes said.
“Today is really a big education day because they’re all first customers of a program like this, so it’s educating them on the process and on the types of products that are available and kind of how it works,” he said. “Our patient care specialists are spending time with each patient, making sure they understand exactly what they’re getting and the effects and how it can help address their symptoms.”
The dispensary set up a heated tent outside and a shuttle from the parking lot for patients, and the staff served coffee, hot chocolate and hand warmers. “The excitement and anticipation are outweighing the wait in the cold,” Erkes said.
CY+ is currently selling about 30 varieties of flower sourced from three different cultivators. Once processers receive final approval and become operational in the state, CY+ and the other dispensaries can carry infused products and concentrates.
“People are happy to have flower and at least have something available,” Erkes said. “This will be a gradual rollout in the state.”
The Forest in Sandusky also served its first patient at 9 a.m. this morning, a multiple sclerosis patient named Ynez Henningsen.
“This is a very exciting day for the thousands of Ohioans who will benefit from having access to medical marijuana,” Henningsen said, in a press release. “It is an honor to be part of such a vital program.”
“We’ve seen a great amount of interest all morning and expect that it will continue throughout the day,” said The Forest CEO Erik Vaughan.
The Forest is a sister company of Standard Wellness, a Level I cultivator and processor in Gibsonburg.
“Helping bring relief to these patients is why we’re here and it is exciting that this day is finally here,” Vaught said.
“It’s exciting,” Erkes added. “It’s definitely a day of celebration here."