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Government/Politics

First Medical Marijuana Sales In Ohio To Happen Tomorrow

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Four different dispensaries are set to open for business at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Two are in the Eastern Ohio town of Wintersville. One is in Sandusky. Another is in Canton. 

The supply of medical marijuana will be limited at first. And the only form of the product likely to be available in the beginning is marijuana buds. Those require patients to use a vaporizer, also being sold in dispensaries, to take in the plant. Smoking marijuana outright is not allowed under Ohio law. But the marijuana is expected to be available in ointments, creams, and edible forms in the future as processors ramp up their businesses. 

The opening of these businesses has been anticipated by some Ohioans who had hoped to get medical marijuana months ago. Jason Erkes is with Cresco Labs, the group operating one of the Wintersville businesses. 

“Our phone has been ringing off the hook. We have been getting emails from a number of patients for weeks that have been anticipating the opening so we expect a big crowd," Erkes said.

Only registered patients or their caregivers who have recommendations from a certified doctor will be available to get the product. The substance can be recommeded for 21 qualifying medical conditions. As of December 31, 2018, 4,964 recommendations had been logged in the state's Patient and Caregiver Registry and of those, 3,575 had activated their registry cards.

Ohio's Medical Marijuana Program was supposed to be fully operational on September 8, 2018. But there were problems with scoring of applicants, vendors were unable to build as fast as they had planned and other issues that forced the timeline back until now.