After months of anticipation, history was made in Ohio Wednesday when medical marijuana officially went on the market in the Buckeye State.
Four dispensaries opened thier doors, incuding two in the Ohio Valley.
Patients were lined up in the cold to be the first to fill their prescriptions when doors opened at 9:00 a.m.
Ohio’s first vote to legalize medical marijuana was back in 2016, but the opening of these facilities kicked off a new, greener era.
“For the state it’s huge,” said Jason Erkes, Spokesperson for CrescoLabs. “It means people can get off of harmful opioids that have awful side effects and very addictive qualities. Medical cannabis can provide that pain relief and give them a higher quality of life without those awful side effects. Today’s a big day for patients in Ohio to celebrate and be thankful they can get relief now legaly.
At CY+ in Wintersville, the first purchase was made by 56-year-old Joan Caleodis, who was donning a shirt that read “Multiple Sclerosis warrior” on the front, and “420” in big green letters on the back.
Caleodis said she received a doctor’s recommendation to treat her primary progressive multiple sclerosis. She bought $150 worth of flower she planned to use in a vape pen.
“At one point, I was taking 16 pills a day. I’m now down to no pills for MS, so I’m ecstatic,” she said. “Patients no longer have to wait for relief. It’s just a great win for Ohio patients.”
Second to make a purchase was Marine veteran Alex Griffith. He currently suffers from PTSD, which causes him to go four or five days without sleep.
He said Wednesday was significant because medical cannabis is now available for people living in pain.
“I’ve been on so many different medications and the medication I’m on now, we just kind of settled with,” Griffith continued. “Now that I have medical cannabis I can start living my life and get that quality of life back. I can start being Alex again.”
Only plant materials are being sold for now. Products like edibles, tinctures and lotions won’t become available until cannabis processing facilities are operational.
In another part of Wintersville, Ohio Valley Natural Relief, LLC also opened its doors to patients.
As of now, recreational consumption is still outlawed in Ohio.