Ohio saw a record number of medical marijuana sales during the month of July, but the program still trails behind similar ones in other states. According to a recent update from the Ohio State Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP), dispensaries saw a record number of monthly sales this summer. Weekly sales — which averaged $2-3 million between January and March of this year — have been slowly but steadily increasing, coming to hover around $5 million from late July to mid-August. Patients and their caregivers purchased $21.4 million of medical cannabis products throughout July — an all-time high since the OMMCP began allowing sales in January 2019. Licensed dispensaries sold around $56 million in product during the program’s first year of operation — and 2020’s sales have already more than doubled that number, totalling $120.1 million as of August 17. There are a few reasons for this increase — including greater patient awareness and the state control board approving additional qualifying conditions. Here’s what we know about the changing medical cannabis landscape, and what patients can expect from the program’s growth and expansion. Why Medical Marijuana Sales Are on the Rise One potential reason for the increased sales is that it’s now easier for patients to get their medication in a number of ways. Driven in large part by the COVID-19 pandemic, the increased adoption of telehealth solutions in the past year allows patients who live in rural areas or who might otherwise have difficulty accessing care to receive the services they need — including medical marijuana recommendations and cards. Additionally, this summer’s update to the OMMCP’s list of qualifying conditions — which added cachexia but rejected anxiety and autism spectrum disorder for the second time — included a change to how each patient’s 90-day supply of medication is calculated. In practice, the change now allows patients to stock up on more medication each time they visit a dispensary, thereby avoiding the need for more frequent visits. Matt Close, executive director of the Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association, thinks that this combination of factors is contributing to the record monthly sales. “It’s tough to figure out what the COVID-19 effect has had on sales increases, but I can say that the moves made by the Pharmacy Board to give patients more ways to purchase in a safe manner has helped patient accessibility to medicine,” he said. “Also, allowance of telemedicine for patients has made it more convenient to access their cards.” Despite the steady increase in purchases, compared to similar medical cannabis markets, Ohio’s sales are still on the low side. Maryland reported $163.4 million in sales by the end of May, for instance — an increase of $77.9 million from the year before — and has around 100,000 registered medical marijuana patients to Ohio’s 131,000. However, Maryland’s list of qualifying conditions includes broader definitions than Ohio’s and allows cannabis to be used to treat anxiety and anorexia, among other health conditions. Is Medical Marijuana Right for You? The state of Ohio currently allows patients to use medical marijuana to manage the symptoms of 22 conditions, including fibromyalgia, cancer, dementia and Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic pain. If you or someone you know has one or more of these health conditions and is having trouble finding relief, we encourage you to contact us today. At Lakewood Medical Clinic, we work hard to take the mystery and taboo out of cannabis-based care. We work closely with each patient to help them find the right solution to get back to living life to the fullest. During your free consultation, our certified physicians and marijuana experts will guide you through the traditional healthcare practices and alternative remedies available to meet your needs.