Medicinal marijuana sales in Ohio hit $5.8 million in the first four months of trading after it was legalized in January 2019.

The State Board of Ohio revealed that there are already 31,075 registered patients in the Buckeye State and they have purchased more than 750 pounds of cannabis flower since Jan. 1. Their number includes 2,386 veterans from the armed forces and 171 terminally ill patients, while a further 2,109 registered caregivers are permitted to source legal marijuana.

Almost 500 doctors have registered to recommend qualifying patients in Ohio. There are a provisional 56 dispensaries spread across the state, but just 15 are currently operational.

The industry in Ohio is very much in its infancy and the potential for future growth is significant. It is the seventh largest state by population and by GDP, and it decriminalized cannabis all the way back in 1975.

In June 2016, bill HB 523 to legalize medicinal cannabis use was passed following an 18-15 vote in the Senate and a 67-29 vote in the House. The first legal sale took place on Jan. 16, 2019, and it has snowballed in the ensuing four months, but there is still huge room for future growth.

There are 29 provisional licenses for cultivation in Ohio, but only 17 licensees have received operating certificates for their facilities. Meanwhile, just two of the 39 producers have received permission to manufacture edibles and other concentrates.

Last week Massachusetts-based Curaleaf (CSE: CURA; OTCQX: CURLF) agreed to a $20 million deal to snap up Ohio Grown Therapies, which has been awarded preliminary cultivation and processing licenses by the Ohio Department of Commerce in 2018 and is in the process of building a 32,000 sq. ft. cultivation and processing facility in Johnstown, near Columbus.

The base of medical cannabis patients in the state is due to expand after a four-member state medical board committee recommended that Ohio add anxiety and autism spectrum disorder as qualifying conditions. The full State Medical Board is scheduled to vote June 12 on whether to accept these recommendations.

The committee rejected a proposal to add depression to the list of qualifying conditions.

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