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Ohio’s Recreational Cannabis Boom: Jobs, Revenue, and What You Need to Know!

Ohio is poised to experience a significant economic boost as recreational cannabis becomes available in dispensaries by June. Earlier this month, a state committee approved the necessary regulations, paving the way for medicinal dispensaries to apply for dual licenses that will allow them to sell both medical and recreational marijuana starting June 7.

The introduction of recreational cannabis is expected to bring a wave of economic benefits to Ohio. According to industry experts, the new market will generate substantial revenue for the state through taxes and sales. The initial application fees and ongoing taxes from cannabis sales are projected to contribute significantly to Ohio’s economy.

Paul Chialdikas, senior vice president and central regional leader at Curaleaf, which operates dispensaries in Cuyahoga Falls and Newark, highlights the potential for job creation. "We expect to see an increase in employment opportunities within our dispensaries and cultivation facilities," said Chialdikas. "This includes roles in retail, security, cultivation, and logistics, among others."

Dispensaries across Ohio are gearing up for the recreational rollout, and local economies are set to benefit. For instance, Jeff McCourt, CEO of Firelands Scientific, which owns The Landing Dispensary in Downtown Cleveland, stated that his company has already hired additional staff and upgraded technology systems to ensure a smooth customer experience. This preparation is indicative of the broader economic impact expected across the state.

Dan Shaker, commercial general manager of Green Thumb Industries, which operates RISE dispensaries in Lakewood, Lorain, and Cleveland, echoed this sentiment. "We are excited to serve new adult-use customers while maintaining our focus on prioritizing our existing medical patients," Shaker said. "The expansion into recreational sales will undoubtedly contribute to local job markets and provide new business opportunities."

Despite the anticipated high demand, Chialdikas does not foresee any significant price inflation during the initial rollout. "Our cultivators are prepared to meet the demand, and we aim to maintain current inventory levels and brand availability," he said. This stability is further supported by Ohio’s history of oversupply in the medical marijuana market, which has kept prices relatively low.

Jeff McCourt added that Ohio’s robust supply chain, bolstered by new cultivators and processors entering the market, ensures a steady flow of products. "Ohio has been in an oversupply situation for many years," McCourt explained. "This positions us well to handle the increased demand from recreational sales."

The financial benefits of recreational cannabis extend beyond immediate sales and taxes. The state’s Division of Cannabis Control recently rescinded registration fees for medicinal patients, encouraging continued participation in the medical program. This move, combined with the potential 10% excise tax on non-medical purchases, underscores the financial advantages of maintaining a medicinal card.

Moreover, experiences from other states suggest that cannabis prices may decrease over time as the market stabilizes and competition increases. This trend could lead to higher consumer spending and sustained economic growth.

While some Ohio communities, including Lakewood, have imposed moratoriums on recreational dispensaries, existing medicinal dispensaries can still apply for dual licenses. According to an Ohio State University Moritz College of Law analysis, localities have a window to enact ordinances prohibiting new dispensaries, but existing operations remain unaffected.

Dan Shaker confirmed that Green Thumb Industries plans to apply for dual licenses for its Lakewood locations, ensuring they are ready for the first day of adult-use sales. This strategic approach highlights how businesses are navigating local regulations to capitalize on the new market.

Would you support the introduction of recreational cannabis in your community if it meant more jobs and economic growth?

  • Yes, definitely!

  • Maybe, it depends on the regulations.

  • No, I have concerns about its impact.


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