Views From The Leaf

The Summit Releaf Blog

Ohio’s Medical Legalization: 5 Years in PT 2

October 1, 2021

Beyond the now unprecedented fears of many Ohioans, medicinal marijuana has lead to a plethora of benefits beyond its medicinal purpose. Since Ohio legalized the treatment of pain with medical marijuana 5 years ago, the results have only strengthened over time.  In the forms of employment growth, tax revenue, and increased investment opportunity, medical marijuana has led the way. 

Though it logically follows, many were not prepared for the amount of careers cannabis has created. Since 2016, employment in the cannabis industry averages out at ~40k new positions created annually. Though a smaller portion of jobs requires higher education requirements, roughly 28%, the vast majority allows for minimal higher education to certificates. Considering that the group with the most consistently high unemployment group is the individuals with lower formal education, medical cannabis helps address the root cause and symptom of unemployment. With the industry consistently growing for years now, the estimate consistently exceeds the average 7% multi-industry growth rate. Simply, by legalizing medical cannabis to treat symptoms, a terrific industry for workers was created and will continue to grow.

With its terrific and rapid growth came the cannabis industry’s increased proportion in the form of taxes. Ohio in 2020 produced over $4 million in sales tax alone, lower than most recreational states, but strong for the current state of Ohio medical cannabis. However, considering the estimates of $22.4 Million left on the table by not expanding the medical program, the growth clearly points to a conversation of expansion. Not to say this conversation hasn’t already been happening, with proponents of both recreational or expansion bills having their own tax allocations factored into either bill. If Ohio is anything like other states, the allocations usually benefit either criminal justice reform, schooling, drug prevention programs, and the whole federal structure. By further reinforcing cannabis laws and allowing for the treatment of symptoms with cannabis, we allow for a system benefitting the parts of society that need consistent, strong funding. What is sure, is that the current growth of standard sales tax and the estimates of potential revenue will force the conversation more than anything else could.

Beyond the community level, by allowing the treatment of symptoms with cannabis, we open the door to private investment, though federal banking is still unable to be used. As previously stated, the industry is rapidly growing and exceeding the average growth rates, which makes it particularly appealing to investment groups and private investors alike. For example, Klutch Cannabis, an Ohio medical marijuana dispensary conglomerate, received $5.8 million in three rounds of private funding. Beyond Klutch, multiple other companies found successful funding in multiple rounds of funding. In the status quo, the industry is getting some of the most consistent investment while also having one of the lowest small business turnover rates than any other industry.

Throughout all of the pros of having a medical program, it’s difficult to understand the latter premise. Though medical treatment with marijuana was definitely swamped in fear, those ideas never came to fruition, while the benefits are quantifiable and fact. With these backing the further development of cannabis, there’s no question of eventual headway.

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