When Ohio’s medical marijuana program began in earnest this spring, only a handful of dispensaries were open. And they had a limited amount of products to sell.
Now that marijuana cultivators and processors have started operating, the offerings have expanded. Now a wider range of products such as tinctures, lotions, vaping products and gummies are available.
Only marijuana flower was available in March, when Columbus’ first dispensary, Terrasana, opened on the West Side.
So far, 26 of the 56 dispensaries that were granted provisional licenses have been approved to open, nine of the 41 proposed marijuana processing facilities are open, and 18 of the 30 proposed cultivators are up and running.
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Cultivators grow marijuana plants, and the processors transform their crops into the products sold at medical marijuana dispensaries.
Huron-based Firelands Scientific has facilities that do both, and executives hope to open a dispensary in the near future. They have a processing and a cultivating license, and recently opened a greenhouse in Huron.
“We now have the ability to extract oil from cannabis and formulate it into medical cannabis products,” said Alisia Ratliff, Firelands Scientific’s director of processing.
“That adds to the diversity of offerings,” said Firelands CEO Jeff McCort.
But the industry still has a ways to go.
“We’ve still barely passed halfway,” said Andy Joseph, CEO of the Johnstown-based Ohio Grown Therapies, which has a cultivation license, a processing license and a provisional dispensary license, which allows it to lay the groundwork for a store. “But that being said, as more and more (cultivators and processors) open, patients will see a wider cross section of brands as well as product types. That’s critical.”
With nine processors online, patients already have more access