Ohio’s Price for Medical Cannabis Lower than Surrounding States
Graphic courtesy of Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association

Ohio’s Price for Medical Cannabis Lower than Surrounding States

The Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association (OMCIA) recently completed a survey of state-published pricing data across neighboring states with medical cannabis programs to find out how Ohio prices compare.

Columbus, Ohio - Aug. 5, 2022 - The Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association (OMCIA) recently completed a survey of state published pricing data across neighboring states with medical marijuana programs to find out how prices in Ohio really compare. We learned that after a little more than three years Ohio’s price for plant material (flower) is significantly lower than Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Maryland at $8.89 per gram. State published data is based on the price the patient actually pays including discounts, sales and taxes.

“There is a misunderstanding that the legislature needs to award more cultivation space to bring prices down to compete with neighboring states. OMCIA’s research clearly shows that Ohio is already competing with neighboring states. In fact, we are leading,” commented Matt Close, executive director of the OMCIA. “Existing operators already have the ability to expand but many are holding off due to inflation, high construction costs and a flat patient count.”

Last fall the state legislature introduced Senate Bill 261 (SB 261), a bill that would streamline the Medical Marijuana Control Program by consolidating oversight under the Department of Commerce. Contained in this bill were two provisions to drastically increase available cultivation space and award several new cultivation licenses to applicants who were initially disqualified in the highly competitive license application process.

Currently, cultivators in the program are allowed to expand their canopy space twice after their initial build out. Once they have demonstrated they are operating at full capacity they can request approval to expand from the state. To date, twenty-nine of thirty-seven cultivators are operational and only a third have applied for the first expansion since October 2021.

“It is important to time expansion carefully to meet patient demand and avoid the oversupply problems experienced by other states. After more than three years Ohio’s program only supports 148,950 active patients and that number is growing at a very slow rate,” Close said. “This is a limited market where patients must have one of 25 severe medical conditions and a physician’s recommendation to qualify for a card.  Even then, their purchasing limit is capped at one of the lowest in the country. Overexpansion can lead to oversupply, driving businesses out of business and sending excess medical marijuana into the illicit market.”

With Ohio’s pricing trending in the right direction, it is clear the program has properly balanced medical marijuana supply with demand. The OMCIA continues to urge the state legislature to remove the  unnecessary additional expansion measures in SB 261 and focus on consolidating the program under the Department of Commerce, an initiative that will further reduce prices by eliminating redundant program oversight.

Graphic citations:

Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program – Program Update (July 2022) patients with both an active registration and an active recommendation