H.B 523, enacted by the Ohio General Assembly, became effective in September 2016 and made Ohio the 25th state to adopt a comprehensive medical marijuana program. A new report from the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC) traces the development of the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP) since the start of legal sales in January 2019 and documents continued dissatisfaction among patients and prospective patients.
By gathering key program data and reporting on a new patient survey, this research fills gaps in our understanding of the OMMCP five years after becoming law. With multiple new marijuana reforms under discussion in Ohio, the perceived effectiveness and success of the current system among patients and potential patients may shape the long-term prospects and future of the program.
The report is also available for download on SSRN.
- 55% of respondents reported some level of dissatisfaction with OMMCP, with 25.4% reporting being “extremely dissatisfied” and nearly 30% being “somewhat dissatisfied.” However, when compared to previous years the overall dissatisfaction levels are declining (67% in 2019 reported being dissatisfied, compared to 62% in 2020 and 55% this year). Additionally, the intensity of dissatisfaction has lessened.
- 72% of survey respondents with a qualifying medical condition reported that Ohio dispensaries were their primary source of medical marijuana. For people who indicated that they purchased marijuana from other sources, the primary reason for doing so was the cost of product in Ohio dispensaries and the cost and difficulty associated with becoming a registered patient.
- High price of marijuana in Ohio dispensaries was the top reason cited by participants for their continued dissatisfaction, for not using licensed dispensaries, and for opting out of using medical marijuana. Price of marijuana in Ohio continues to be considerably higher than in Michigan and significantly lower than in Pennsylvania. The second and third top-cited reasons were lack of home grow and lack of employment protections, respectively.
- 81% of respondents reported having trust in the safety of products sold in Ohio dispensaries. Only 8% reported not trusting the safety of dispensary products.
- COVID-19 inspired changes, including telemedicine, online ordering and curbside pick-up have had a positive impact on patients’ satisfaction levels.
- Despite growth in sales and in the number of patients and caregivers, the number of physicians with a Certificate to Recommend has actually decreased over the last 12 months. Ohio is now second to last in the number of physicians per 100,000 residents able to recommend medical marijuana.
Contact or Request an Interview
If you have questions about this report or would like to set up an interview with a center representative, email Holly Griffin, Public Engagement Specialist for the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.