Ohio to license 73 more medical cannabis dispensaries

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(This story has been updated with a more accurate patient forecast.)

Ohio is planning to more than double the number of medical cannabis stores in the state.

The state’s Board of Pharmacy on Monday approved the licensing of 73 new dispensaries this summer, totaling 130 across the state, The (Cincinnati) Enquirer reported.

The pharmacy board likely won’t start accepting applications before June.

Applicants will be held to the same requirements as those who applied in 2017, the newspaper reported, and those who meet the criteria will be entered into a lottery by district. Each company is limited to five dispensary permits.

The increase is dispensaries is tied to a steadily growing patient count in the state.

In 2017, the pharmacy board initially allowed 60 dispensaries based on a count of 12,000-24,000 MMJ patients.

Ohio currently has at least 168,571 registered MMJ patients, according to the newly released Marijuana Business Factbook.

Despite restrictive purchasing limits and limited cultivation capacity, among other issues, the state’s market is on the upswing.

The 2021 Marijuana Business Factbook projects Ohio medical cannabis sales will reach $350 million to $425 million this year, a sizable increase over the $221.5 million it amassed in 2020.