There was a new energy and excitement in the air this past Thursday night as the Cleveland Chapter of the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) held its January Meetup, hosted by Steve Baden at the law offices of Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis.
The meeting of Cleveland-area professionals fell on the night after the official start of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Program, with four dispensaries opening their doors to the public. The Forest of Sandusky and Cresco Labs CY+ made the official first two sales with Ohio Valley Natural Relief LLC and The Botanist following closely behind.
To the gathered MJBA attendees – lawyers, healthcare professionals, patients, advocates and entrepreneurs — there was a newfound excitement that Ohio’s mmj program, created when House Bill 523 was passed in 2016 and signed into law by Governor John Kasich, is finally becoming reality after more than two years of delay.
The official total sales for the first day totaled $75,000, with 8.7 pounds of legal cannabis being sold. To date, 3,575 patients have legally registered with the State as Medical Marijuana Patients, with those numbers expecting to grow daily.
The packed room had representatives from Buckeye Relief, a Level 1 Cultivator; Herbology Dispensary, The Clubhouse Dispensary; The Cleveland School of Cannabis; Dr. Solomon Zarraa, with Compassionate Cleveland; Michael Bush, National Cannabis Insurance, and many other industry professionals who came together to network, share information and build community.
Alicia Reaves, co-founder of Midwest CannaWomen, kicked off the meeting with a passionate speech about her organization and why she decided to form her group to help women become more involved in the State’s Medical Marijuana Industry. “I started Midwest CannaWomen because I have been in the industry since May 2017, and I have attended events and networked… and I never see myself. There is a lack of women – especially minority women – in CEO or even supervisory positions in the Cannabis Industry. I want to provide opportunities and resources for all women, so that they may have a place in the industry.” She is definitely becoming a voice to be heard!
Tracey Dwyer, Regional Patient Outreach Director of Bloom Medicinals, then took the floor to educate participants on her company’s Dispensaries located here in Ohio and throughout the United States. “What makes Bloom Medicinals an exceptional dispensary experience is our commitment to clinical excellence, superior product, and above all – deep compassionate care for our patients.” Ms. Dwyer also fielded many questions and spurred conversations amongst the crowd on various topics including the State’s 21 Qualifying Medical Conditions and Ohio’s daily dosage of 2.8 Grams – dubbed what is now known as an “Ohio Tenth”.
What a great way to start 2019. Ohio – I think we are officially going somewhere!!