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Ohio Regulators Have Issued 80 Recreational Cannabis Dispensary Licenses So Far

The Ohio Division of Cannabis Control has issued 80 provisional licenses to dual-use cannabis dispensaries so far. The provisional licenses will allow the dispensaries to legally sell both medical cannabis and recreational cannabis products. Twenty six of the licenses are for dispensaries in the Northeast region of Ohio.

“It’s important to keep in mind that, based on the criteria above, there will be no one singular day when sales begin. We will start issuing licenses and it will be up to the retailer based on staffing, stock and other considerations as to which day they will begin sales,” stated division spokesperson James Crawford according to local reporting by FOX8. “Given the foundation already laid through the Medical Marijuana Control Program, current medical permit holders positioned to apply for dual-use status who have already undergone many of the comprehensive checks are anticipated to have a much quicker turnaround for issuance of licenses over the summer.”

Currently, 56 municipalities in Ohio have placed moratoriums or bans on adult-use cannabis businesses. Pablo Zuniac of Zuniac and Associates recently conducted an analysis of Ohio’s cannabis industry, and is projecting that by mid-2025 the state will have 254 licensed cannabis dispensaries, nearly double what the state currently has for medical cannabis.

“Ohio is estimated to have 254 dispensaries by mid-2025, according to new equity research by a marijuana financial analyst, putting it in the middle of the density pack among states where recreational marijuana is sold.” stated in its original reporting.

According to cannabis industry data company Headset, “Ohio has been averaging $40 million in monthly sales over the past year. Generally, we see a 2 to 3X increase in sales with adult-use conversion, which would put Ohio at an $85 million monthly run rate right out of the gate. This is conservative; we anticipate even higher sales due to Ohio’s unique market dynamics and large population.”

The pre-roll sector in Ohio is assumed to experience the most dramatic change, with Headset pointing out that, “Ohio’s medical market prohibits smoking, banning Pre-Rolls, a category that captures 13.4% of national sales. Expect this to change with adult use, leading to significant opportunities in the Pre-Roll category.”

Per initial reporting by Marijuana Moment, Ohio recreational sales are anticipated to generate between $276.2 million and $403.6 million in annual cannabis tax dollars within five years.

The rollout of legal recreational cannabis sales in Ohio will have an impact on other legal markets in the region. Many residents of Ohio have crossed the border into Michigan to make cannabis purchases, and once legal adult-use sales begin in Ohio, it will create a tectonic shift for the legal industries in both states.

“Tim Johnson, a longtime Ohio lobbyist and marijuana industry consultant, estimates Ohioans spent more than $700 million at Michigan marijuana stores last year.” reported MJBizDaily. In March 2024, Michigan’s legal cannabis industry sold more products than California’s legal cannabis industry.