Ohio, the 7th most populated US state 11.66 million people is taking steps in legalizing recreational cannabis exactly two years after it introduced its medical marijuana program.

The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative may appear on the ballot in Ohio as an initiated constitutional amendment as early as Q4 of 2019; the measure would legalize the use, possession, and sale of marijuana for persons age 21 or older in Ohio. In the meantime, medical dispensary and processing licenses have been awarded to a select group of Ohio based companies. 

In July of this year, The state of Ohio Board of Pharmacy announced it had accepted 56 medical dispensary licenses out of 370 applicants. The State took a step further this year in August as it began to announce its processor licenses. The state of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has issued only 12 processing licenses:

  • NMG Ohio (Subsidiary of Body & Mind (BAMM.C)
  • FarmaceuticalRX
  • Purpose Leaf
  • Green Investment Partners
  • Standard Wellness Company
  • Ohio Grown Therapies
  • Fire Rock Processing
  • Ohio Green Grow
  • Greenleaf Therapeutics
  • Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals
  • Standard Farms Ohio
  • Corsa Verde
According to Ohio Department of Commerce, the processing licensed is defined as:

A processor manufacturers medical marijuana products. There are three different types of processors – standalone, vertically integrated facilities, and a plant-only processor which is a cultivator who distributes plant material directly to dispensaries. For plant-only processors, a cultivator applies for a certificate with an associated registration fee.

The Canadian cannabis market has been heating up lately, but as more states move towards legalization more attention will be allocated to the US market as it is 10x the size with about 1/10th the market cap of Canadian cannabis companies. Investors who missed out on getting in early in Canada still have the opportunity to get in early to the emerging US market. For those who made gains in the Canadian market, the next logical move is to invest in companies down south.