Ohio Medical Marijuana Is Dropping In Price!
Medical cannabis in the Buckeye State is finally becoming more affordable...but will patients return?
Prices for Ohio medical cannabis are finally starting to drop! #420Ohio dives into why it took so long for Ohio medical cannabis cultivators to finally lower their prices. And will Ohio patients return to dispensaries now that they have?
Ohio’s Pricing Woes
Most stores tend to open with huge sales. The methodology is simple. Sales drive customers.
A Meijer recently opened in my town. It felt like half the store was 40-75% off for the first month. Customers were scrambling to get their buy one, get one deals, and their deep discounts designed to drive large swathes of guests eager to pinch those pennies.
But such is not the case with the marijuana industry. Rather, it’s the opposite. As supply slowly catches up to demand, prices tend to drop. However, at the launch of any cannabis program, either recreational or medical, prices tend to be higher than in states with longstanding programs.
Why Cannabis Should Be Cheaper
Patients deserve to be able to buy their medicine without breaking the bank. And initial Ohio prices would do just that for any serious cannabis users. As prices ranged from hundreds to thousands for a month’s supply, cannabis as medicine didn’t seem like a viable option for many patients. Not when your corner drug store has prescription medications for less than $15 for a month’s supply.
Cannabis is an expensive commodity. It’s difficult to grow and harvest, and a lot can go wrong. But when prices are nearly double (or triple) other states with similar programs, it’s easy to see why so patients have been complaining.
On launch day, I spoke with an Ohio medical marijuana patient who expressed serious concern about how much they’d be able to buy. They exited the dispensary that day with just one strain.
Ohio’s Declining Numbers
While the program is hardly in trouble, the numbers aren’t great. As of this writing, just over half of all Ohio medical marijuana cardholders haven’t even stepped foot in a dispensary.
To put that number in perspective…there’s just over 48,000 patients. Over 22,000 of these patients haven’t even seen the inside of an Ohio dispensary.
That’s thousands of patients who have actively decided that medical marijuana is just too expensive, or not readily available to them.
This could mean bad news for medical marijuana clinics in Ohio, whose business model relies on patients coming back to renew their card each year. If patients are rejecting Ohio marijuana over costs, those businesses might end up losing big time, or shuttering their doors for good.
Ohio Marijuana Prices Are Dropping
The good news is that prices are, in fact, beginning to drop in Ohio. As supplies have officially caught up, and more and more cultivators take root, we are seeing more products and better prices.
Some dispensaries, like The Botanist in Canton, are selling large bulk jars of cannabis that contain 14.15 grams, at a discount of $100 off normal price. And Clubhouse Dispensary in Elyria is selling 2.83 grams of select strain starting as low as $30. That’s a $20 price drop since the Ohio medical marijuana industry launched in January 2019.
It remains to be seen whether patients will return to dispensaries, but with prices continuing to drop, and more products making their way to dispensary shelves, it’s likely that patient interest will once again be piqued.
Do you know of any deals or price drops? Let us know in the comments below.
Factors For Why Costs Are High For Cultivators
There are many factors to consider when looking at cannabis prices. And many of these factors do not exist on the black market, where cannabis could have come from a person’s closest or basement, free of any regulation.
We’ll take a look at a few factors many patients don’t always consider…
Building a Team
Every company begins or dies by the team they employ. Medical cannabis is no different. In fact, it takes a highly skilled team of professionals to grow safe, healthy cannabis for patients.
Dozens of employees and managers, bud trimmers, marketing teams, PR, HR, botanists, scientists, testers and cannabis experts must be hired to operate a cultivation facility.
Many cultivation facilities employ a minimum of 10-15 employees, but large scale cultivators can employ hundreds of employees, each as important and crucial as the roots of the cannabis plants themselves.
Every cannabis cultivation facility must have state of the art lighting, air and water purification to ensure quality grows in a sterile, clean environment. Patients who use medical marijuana need to be confident in the products they are purchasing. Any toxic metals or pesticides cannot be tolerated. This can, however, drive up the costs of a facility.
Ohio, for example, has very strict regulations about their medical cannabis. These rules and regulations ensure that a patient is not buying and medicating with potentially harmful medical marijuana. The downside, however, is that many of these regulations translate to a higher cost for cultivators.
Not Enough Cultivators
In 2018, only a handful of Ohio medical marijuana cultivators were granted their license to operate. Others had to wait several months longer until their facilities met state regulations and they were allowed to grow.
Since that time, about a dozen cultivators have emerged in Ohio’s market. But for months, there were only a handful of cultivators even capable of providing Ohio cannabis.
This problem can strike any state. It simply takes time for a cultivator to pick a place for a facility, to build that facility and to grow those beautiful sticky plants. And shortages could happen during that time as supplies struggle to reach demand.
Bottles & Packaging
Believe it or not, the very packaging Ohio medical marijuana is contained in has a serious cost. Some companies use bags, while others use glass jars, plastic pill bottles or plastic jars. This is done so that the cannabis can meet state guidelines. This results in a lot of waste and overhead for companies trying to keep up with Ohio’s regulations.
For example, cannabis is sold in 2.83 gram quantities in Ohio. While most of the bottles would be able to contain far more than 2.83 grams, the regulations force a higher production cost for cultivators and processors by forcing small amounts of cannabis in larger containers.
Some companies compensate by packing in smaller bottles or vacuum sealed bags, but others are still waiting and hoping Ohio finally fixes some of the less logical rules and regulations.
Time to Grow
It takes months to complete just one grow. And weeks before that grow makes it to shelves. Cultivators also wait for the second harvest, born from clones of the first harvest.
This means that cultivators are limited in how much cannabis they have at harvest time. If sold for too cheap, the supplies will be diminished and the cultivator may have to wait until their next harvest before selling any more cannabis.
If anything goes wrong in between any of these stages, from legal troubles to mold or pest infestations, a cultivator is looking at more money and more resources in order to bring cannabis to dispensary shelves.
Will You Return To Ohio Dispensaries?
Prices are finally dropping, and more and more products are available. Now is a great time to stop back into a dispensary and see if there’s any strains that suit your medical conditions.
As always, #420Ohio will be sure to keep you up to date about any price drops or new products hitting Ohio’s shelves. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve been to an Ohio dispensary, plan to visit a dispensary in 2019, or which Ohio medical marijuana dispensary is your favorite.
Ohio law prohibits patients from buying or using cannabis products intended for smoking medical marijuana yet most of us still prefer it.