Over 42,000 people in Ohio qualify for the state’s medical marijuana program, but only half of the said number have opted in, the state records show.
When the patients were asked the reason for their lethargy, almost all of them provided the same answer- money.
Though the prices of medical marijuana products have come down, it is still by far the biggest barrier for most patients. One such patient is Mary Alleger of Reynoldsburg, who has been prescribed a marijuana treatment to relieve chronic pain.
“The lowest price I saw for (a daily supply) was $28, and it took a while before I saw anything for less than $29,” Alleger said. “This is not sustainable.”
Another patient by the name of Anthony Cordle of the Far West Side, who likes to refer to himself as a “high tolerance user”, is using medical marijuana to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He too has similar woes, “It costs me over $1,000 a month to buy cannabis.”
Since Cordle doesn’t experience the nightmares that once wreaked havoc on him, he doesn’t mind paying such an amount – though he thinks it would be better if the drug were cheaper.
At present, only 18 of the 56 provisional dispensaries that were bestowed with a provisional license have been given the final go-ahead to start operations, thus a large number of people have to travel long distances to get their medical marijuana supplies.
“There’s one dispensary within about 50 miles that I can shop at,” said Steve Concilla, who lives in Hilliard and uses marijuana to relieve chronic pain. “But before it opened, it was unrealistic for me to drive across the state to buy it.”
Notably, costs of MM products are expected to fall as more cultivators, processors and dispensaries open.
Many Ohioans don’t even mind traveling to Michigan for their marijuana supplies as they find vastly lower prices there, despite factoring in the price of gas.