Ohio completes first year of medical cannabis sales
January 15th marked the one year anniversary of medical cannabis sales in Ohio.
As of today, 47 dispensaries are operating, a considerable increase compared to opening day when only four dispensaries were open in just two regions of the state.
Despite limitations, total sales reached $58,300,000, with more than 55,000 people making individual purchases. Roughly 50% of those sales happened in the last quarter, due to larger cities like Cincinnati and Cleveland welcoming the majority of their dispensaries in late September.
Ohio’s first year program growth year is similar to neighboring states like Michigan and Illinois, which now feature robust medical and adult-use markets. But unlike neighboring states Governors, Ohio’s Gov. DeWine is in no rush for recreational sales; recently calling adult-use legislation ‘a mistake‘.
Decriminalization takes effect in Hawaii
This week, Hawaii became the 26th state to decriminalize cannabis.
Because of the new law change, starting Saturday, residents with low-level cannabis possession charges can begin filing for expungement.
The new law change will remove the possibility of being arrested for small amounts of cannabis, and will instead enforce officers to issue a fine that totals $130 for offenders, allowing all natives and visiting tourists to possess up to 3 grams of cannabis.
Mississippi physicians support legalization efforts
A group of Mississippi physicians made headlines this week when they announced their support for Initiative 65, a bill that would legalize medical cannabis statewide.
The announcement was in direct response to the Mississippi Board of Health’s recent statement on cannabis and local legalization efforts. In that statement, the Board of Health expressed strong opposition, and even cited a handful of myths surrounding legalization in America.
In the physicians letter, the group breaks down more than 10 statements made by the Board of Health, offering concise and fact checked information that counters the Board’s claims.
Concluding their letter, the group of more than 5,000 Mississippi concludes with;
“The Board’s resolution offers no compelling reason why the ten members of the Board should try to stop more than 5,700 physicians in our state from using our experiences, training, and research to consider treating our patients with medical marijuana.”
Next up in Rec: the East Coast
In a Monday morning press brief, New York Gov. Anew Cuomo stated that he and his team are “comparing notes” with neighboring states that are also close to approving an adult-use cannabis market.
The New York governor has long expressed his support for legalization, but efforts have recently stalled, creating a similar political climate that is currently plaguing New Jersey – where lawmakers can’t agree on specific regulations that deal with the distribution of licensing and zoning.
Still, political leaders on the East Coast have placed cannabis reform as one of the the top priorities for 2020’s first legislative session; Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York could all be next in line for adult-use legalization – but first, legislators will need to agree on what that market will look like, and who will be allowed to participate.