Ohio medical marijuana officials deciding whether state needs more dispensaries

COLUMBUS — Ohio officials said Thursday they are examining the distance of medical marijuana dispensaries from patients’ homes to determine whether more retailers are needed.

Forty-three percent of Ohio patients in a recent state survey said that they travel 10 to 30 miles to shop at a dispensary. Another 38.25% are traveling only up to 10 miles.

“So we have about 20% of our population that is traveling more than 30 miles to reach a dispensary,” said Sharon Maerten-Moore, an attorney for the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, which regulates dispensaries in the medical marijuana program. “Because the survey was anonymous, we don’t know exactly where those patients live or what their reasons are.”

Maerten-Moore said that there is a possibility that patients are traveling long distances because dispensaries are far away from home, or the dispensaries they patronize are close to their workplaces. The patients could also favor products at a certain dispensary that is far from home,…

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