- Ohio Cannabis Company on County Road 621 is celebrating its second anniversary this month, opening in March 2019.
- The medical marijuana dispensary has generated more than $500,000 in sales tax in two years.
- They have seen more than 5,000 patients in two years with many coming from major cities like Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.
- The owners are looking to apply for more licenses as Ohio is looking increase the number of dispensaries.
COSHOCTON – A startup business in a new industry producing more than $500,000 of sales taxes as an economic boost is rare, but it’s what Ohio Cannabis Company has done since opening two years ago.
The medical marijuana dispensary has been termed a destination dispensary by the industry because of the number of people who come from outside the area to purchase products aimed at managing pain for a variety of ailments. This has included major cities like Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati. More than 5,000 different patients have come into Ohio Cannabis in two years. There are about 200,000 people in Ohio registered with medical marijuana cards.
Co-owner Cindy Bradford said they have brochures in the lobby and employees often field questions about local attractions such as the Three Rivers Wine Trail and Roscoe Village. She said they are the highest ranked dispensary in the state by customers on a few websites based on their customer service, extensive menu of items and what else is available in the local area. She knows of several people who come specifically to the Coshocton facility because they can make an entire day out of the trip.
“The economic impact for our community has been exceptionally strong,” Bradford said. “To have that kind of impact within your community has been fabulous. Our growth has been phenomenal because of the patients.”
Bradford said the median age of patients is 45 and 75% of them need help with chronic pain. Of all the dispensaries in the state, Ohio Cannabis has the smallest volume of in-county customers.
“I don’t think our community necessarily understands how much it’s driven up (the economy) with just people purchasing gas and eating here. People just coming through and doing the alternatives, like shopping in Roscoe Village,” Bradford said. “We have lots of patients who enjoy the trip, especially if they’re older and retired and have that opportunity.”
When people enter the dispensary they receive a consultation and then choose the product they want to try. Even if they find something that works right away, they might try various forms of medical marijuana to see what works best. Ohio Cannabis carries flower, edibles, drinks, gummies and more.
Bradford said they are looking to expand the dispensary area to serve more patients faster. The average visit is about eight minutes, Bradford said, if a person knows what they want. They are also looking to add to their 13-person staff.
“In the industry, what’s available and the number of patients, just everything, I feel like there’s something new happening everyday,” Wingfield said. “We went from having one basic product type and one form of administration to six or seven different options out there for patients to take their medication.”
Currently, the state is examining growing the number of dispensaries as several areas are without convenient access. Wingfield said he is planning to apply for more licenses as they are available. There are 52 dispensaries open in the state now out of 57 licensed.
“It’s never going to be where on every corner you have a CVS or a Walgreens, anything like that. It’s not what the state is looking for, but it’s making sure the patient is getting access to their medication they choose,” Bradford said.
Wingfield said he was worried about negative connotations when entering the industry. However, he was surprised that many people, including well-respected doctors, were glad to see medical marijuana approved in Ohio. As time has gone on, such dispensaries as Ohio Cannabis have become more accepted in communities and Wingfield believes that will continue.
“More and more people have come forward and shown support, whether they’re in or out of the program,” he said. “Most everyone I meet from (Coshocton) says ‘I’m glad you guys are here, glad you guys are doing this and glad you are guys are local.'”