Cost of Ohio's Medical Marijuana is Still Higher Than Street Prices


  • Photo via Mark/FlickrCC
Maybe don't burn your weed dealer's number just yet.

Since the first four legal Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries opened on Jan. 16, the cost of legal. medically prescribed marijuana is significantly higher than more traditional street sales.

According to the, the average cost of an ounce of legal marijuana on the first day of sale in Ohio was $539. Their research from crowd-sourced website found that street estimates were $331 per ounce for high quality and $169 per ounce for low quality.

There are now 13 dispensaries, of the approved 56, now open across the state. Dropping the average cost to "only" $472 per ounce, still handily out-pricing legal weed in bordering states Pennsylvania and Michigan, and illegal weed wherever such a thing is sold.

It's not uncommon for marijuana costs to start out high when a state rolls out a new program, and prices are thankfully projected to drop as more dispensaries open, more crop is harvested and diverse products (like oils and edibles) hit the Ohio market.

Plus, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program reports that less than 30 percent of patients with prescriptions have actually purchased medical marijuana as of early March. Previously, only raw flowers were sold, but as of Wednesday, tinctures (oral doses) are being sold at several dispensaries.

Ohio laws limit patients to a 90-day supply of medical marijuana. However, that count begins when the prescriber registers the patient, meaning that people who wait 15 days to pick up their prescription only receive 45 days worth of product. This limits patients who can't get to a dispensary immediately, and patients who can't afford the upfront costs of a 90-day supply.

As of last Sunday, 382 pounds of marijuana have been sold in Ohio this year, with sales totaling near $2.9 million. Patient purchases averaged six-tenths of an ounce (with the amount of active ingredients in the product varying by dispensary). The Ohio pharmacy board has designated a tenth as a daily dosage.

Sign up
for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.