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Ohio Opens Fifth Medical Marijuana Dispensary, While Kentucky Debates It


Ohio now has five medical marijuana dispensaries open and more on the way. The Botanist, operated by Greenleaf Apothecaries LLC, just opened its second store in Wickliffe near Cleveland. At four other dispensaries that opened in January, sales have topped $500,000 in the first two-and-a-half weeks.

Initial prices for medical marijuana in Ohio were $538 per ounce. That has since dropped to an average of $460 an ounce, but it is still higher than other states.

Patients who have visited one of the five dispensaries in Ohio must have a medical marijuana card and one of 21 medical conditions that qualify for treatment. The state medical board is reviewing six additional conditions that could be treated with medical marijuana, including autism, depression and insomnia.

In Kentucky, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced a bill to make marijuana legal in the state for medical purposes. The proposal comes weeks after the U.S. Congress, led by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, passed a farm bill that effectively legalized hemp.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss Ohio's medical marijuana program are Cresco Labs Chief Communications Officer Jason Erkes; Ohio Marijuana Card Medical Director Dr. Timothy Thress and Cincinnati Enquirer Development reporter Randy Tucker (@rstucker612). And joining us to discuss Kentucky's debate over legalizing medical marijuana are Republican Kentucky State Representatives Kim Moser and Diane St. Onge.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.