Ohio, known as the heartland of America, and its significant number of marijuana users are raising hopes for the cannabis industry as a potential vote on legalization approaches. The recent efforts to gather enough signatures for a ballot initiative have energized lawyers, investors, and industry advocates who believe Ohio has a real chance of legalizing recreational marijuana. This would make Ohio the 24th state in the US to do so unless another state beats them to it. Additionally, there is speculation that Ohio's status as a swing state that has historically leaned Republican could have wider implications for the industry at a national level, adding to the significance of this potential legalization.
The marijuana industry has reason to be hopeful about legalization in the state, and it's not just for one reason.
According to a recent report from New Frontier Data, adults in the Midwest, including Illinois, Missouri, and Michigan, who use marijuana are among the heaviest users in the country. This means that around 34% of weed users in the Midwest reported using it multiple times a day, compared to 31% in other states.
While the Midwest users may slightly lag behind the national average of using the drug "once every day or two," this finding is significant for cannabis companies. These companies rely heavily on their highest-using customers, making the Midwest an important market to watch.
With these statistics, it's clear that the Midwest should not be overlooked when it comes to the potential legalization of marijuana.
"In light of the long-standing enforcement and social stigma surrounding cannabis in this region, it is fascinating to see that legalization is presenting new opportunities that residents are eagerly seizing," noted New Frontier in a report on August 8.
Additionally, the report found that people in the Midwest are more inclined to consume cannabis through edibles, possibly because it allows them to discreetly use a substance that is still sometimes frowned upon. New Frontier reports that approximately 26% of Midwestern users opt for edibles, compared to 22% of users nationwide.
Ohio is not the only state in the Midwest embracing marijuana. Minnesota, which legalized recreational cannabis in May, commenced sales on August 1st. Local newspapers reported that hundreds of individuals from across the state flocked to the first dispensary, situated on Red Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota, approximately 200 miles away from the Twin Cities.
The success of Minnesota's first foray into marijuana sales demonstrates the growing interest in cannabis usage across the Midwest. This trend could be a significant boost for an industry that has been struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and if Ohio legalizes recreational marijuana, it would be a big step forward for the state as well as the entire cannabis industry