Ohio could add medical marijuana dispensaries

Stormy Clark poses for a photo outside the medical marijuana dispensary Strawberry Fields in Marietta, Ohio on February 25, 2021. Clark drives from Proctorville to the medical marijuana dispensary to get her medicine, a 200+mile roundtrip.

COLUMBUS – For Stormy Clark, there’s no such thing as a quick trip to get her medicine.

A patient in Ohio’s medical marijuana program, Clark must drive 64 miles from her home in Proctorville, across the Ohio River from Huntington, W.V., to the nearest retail store in Jackson. But that dispensary doesn’t always carry the products she needs, so she’s been driving to Marietta – 105 miles each way.

A few months ago she drove three hours to Dayton to find the right marijuana products that relieve pain from a slipped disc in her neck. She had to stop every once in a while to stretch, to let the blood flow back into her fingers.

In addition to the high cost of medical marijuana – it’s not covered by health insurance – Clark pays more for gas and even had to replace a windshield after a truck spat a rock at her car.

When Clark was prescribed pain pills, she could get them for $4 a fill, at more than two dozen pharmacies within about 30 miles.

“We should not have to worry about being able to get medication,” Clark said. “If it was a pill, we would not be having this problem. We’d be able to go and get it no problems asked.”

Stormy Clark shows off her sour gummies from the medical marijuana dispensary Strawberry Fields in Marietta, Ohio on February 25, 2021. Clark drives from Proctorville to the medical marijuana dispensary to get her medicine, a 200+mile roundtrip.

It’s been almost five years since Ohio legalized medical marijuana and a little more than two years since sales first began at a handful of dispensaries. Now there are 52 dispensaries open out of 57 licensed.

But patients and industry experts say that’s not enough. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy, which regulates dispensaries, now agrees with them.

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Stormy Clark poses for a photo outside the medical marijuana dispensary Strawberry Fields in Marietta, Ohio on February 25, 2021. Clark drives from Proctorville to the medical marijuana dispensary to get her medicine, a 200+mile roundtrip.

COLUMBUS – For Stormy Clark, there’s no such thing as a quick trip to get her medicine.

A patient in Ohio’s medical marijuana program, Clark must drive 64 miles from her home in Proctorville, across the Ohio River from Huntington, W.V., to the nearest retail store in Jackson. But that dispensary doesn’t always carry the products she needs, so she’s been driving to Marietta – 105 miles each way.

A few months ago she drove three hours to Dayton to find the right marijuana products that relieve pain from a slipped disc in her neck. She had to stop every once in a while to stretch, to let the blood flow back into her fingers.

In addition to the high cost of medical marijuana – it’s not covered by health insurance – Clark pays more for gas and even had to replace a windshield after a truck spat a rock at her car.

When Clark was prescribed pain pills, she could get them for $4 a fill, at more than two dozen pharmacies within about 30 miles.

“We should not have to worry about being able to get medication,” Clark said. “If it was a pill, we would not be having this problem. We’d be able to go and get it no problems asked.”

Stormy Clark shows off her sour gummies from the medical marijuana dispensary Strawberry Fields in Marietta, Ohio on February 25, 2021. Clark drives from Proctorville to the medical marijuana dispensary to get her medicine, a 200+mile roundtrip.

It’s been almost five years since Ohio legalized medical marijuana and a little more than two years since sales first began at a handful of dispensaries. Now there are 52 dispensaries open out of 57 licensed.

But patients and industry experts say that’s not enough. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy, which regulates dispensaries, now agrees with them.

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