JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio — It’s been 1 year since medical marijuana became legal and available in Ohio.
Those with Ohio Valley Natural Relief in Wintersville say above all other things, finally helping patients feel better has been their largest success.
“It’s been a wild ride,” Owner and CEO Mike Petrella said. “Everything’s gotten much better for us as dispensary owners and for the patients with pricing and multiple options of different products.”
For example, flower products a year ago would cost customers around $500 per ounce. Now, it’s down to about $200-$300 per ounce.
Petrella say prices are continuing to go down, which means they’re able to help even more people.
“The testimonials of patients are unbelievable,” he said. “I never thought it could help so many people. It really is unbelievable.”
Color Richmond’s Derek Siragusano and his father Carmen impressed.
“It takes stress off of you,” Derek said. “It’s nice.”
“I never dreamed of this,” Carmen said. “I thought this was ridiculous. When they talk about medical cannabis to help brain tumors, the pain, the anxiety, we never would’ve dreamed it.”
Carmen spent years researching for his son, who has fought brain cancer several times since he was 8 years old. When Derek was 29, he was given 6 months to live with a diagnosis of a stage 4 Glioblastoma.
“There’s not a whole lot of treatments for it. You get 6 months, maybe you can get a year if you’re lucky, and they told us that,” Carmen said.
That was now 2-and-a-half years ago.
He’s still very much alive and recently underwent his third brain surgery. He says medical marijuana allows him to actually live instead of only worry.
“It helps lighten up the mood, or just relax my mind, or worry quite as much about everything at night,” he said. “It helps me sleep.”
“It’s really good to hear it’s putting a positive outlook on their life,” Petrella said.
Cy Plus also opened a year ago and says business is going well.
According to statistics, Ohio clocked in a little lower than several other states in its first year of operations, but it met projections for the business.
Many dispensaries still have not opened. OVNR and Cy Plus were among the first four opened in the state. Today there are 47 dispensaries in Ohio, making more than $58 million in sales.
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