Why is Ohio’s Medical Marijuana So Expensive?

So do you want the good news or the bad news on the current status of Ohio’s medical marijuana and what it means for patients?

Legal sales of medical marijuana began earlier this year on Jan. 16 — but at an exorbitant price tag that makes Ohio’s medical pot the most expensive in the nation.

The first sale of cannabis from licensed cultivators to retailers on Jan. 16 was a delivery of 8.7 pounds for $75,000, according to WKYC.

That means Ohio’s 24 cultivators are selling medical grade cannabis for of a jaw-dropping $8,620.68 a pound.

That makes Ohio’s weed “probably the most expensive marijuana on the legal American market,” Cannabis Now reports, based on a brief review of online menus and the most rudimentary understanding of the wholesale market.

The price is more than double many other states.

Chris Roberts of Cannabis Now explains:

“If an ounce is going for $538 wholesale — and retail markup is generally 100 percent —patients in Ohio are paying easily quadruple what they would in a state with an established market like California or Colorado. Or even nearby Pennsylvania — where, at RISE in Erie, a short drive from the Ohio border, a top-shelf eighth will run you $65, with grams going for $20.”

A Hard Lesson in the Math of Economics

What gives? Blame one of the strictest regulated medical marijuana programs in the country. Signed by then-Gov. John Kasich, Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Law limited harvests to 12 large-scale cultivators and 12-small scale cultivators. Obtaining a state grower’s permit was better than a golden ticket — it was a goose laying golden eggs that currently fetch over $8 grand a pound.

It’s the Patients Who Pay (& Suffer) the Most

It’s just not a stable market — perhaps by governing design. “This industry is in its infancy right now,” David Patton, a medical marijuana attorney, told WKYC. “So, we don’t have a stable marketplace.”

Unfortunately, the higher prices may drive some patients back to the black market because they just can’t afford it. Which is tragic — as these patients would not only be dealing with black market prices, but unregulated cannabis that hasn’t been tested for quality and health.

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